As technology evolves, hospitals and health systems must assess their tools and solutions to ensure they meet emerging needs and support quality, cost-effective care. Increasingly, healthcare leaders are replacing legacy enterprise performance management (EPM) solutions — such as EPSi — with Syntellis’ Axiom™ Healthcare Suite to simplify processes with a modern, intuitive user interface and improve reporting, forecasting, cost accounting, and more.
Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, Florida and Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) in Lexington, Kentucky recently switched from EPSi financial planning software (acquired by Strata Decision Technology in 2020) to Axiom. We spoke with Caroline Ferraiuolo, Administrative Director of Decision Support at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, and Byron Gabbard, Executive Vice President of Finance Operations at ARH, about their experiences.
Through the switch, both finance teams modernized processes, gained access to reliable data, and empowered informed, data-driven decisions. Below, we explore five of the top capabilities the organizations gained by migrating to Axiom.
1. Comprehensive Reporting
While Nicklaus Children’s Hospital used widely recognized, advanced billing and general ledger systems in the past, they struggled to generate meaningful insights from them and depended on manual processes and Excel spreadsheets to produce financial statements. Ferraiuolo recalled frequent errors with the previous process.
“If I had to pick one thing I love the most about Axiom, it’s the reporting,” says Ferraiuolo.
Immediately after implementing Axiom management reporting, Ferraiuolo’s team began building financial statements within the platform. “Now reports come out with pretty much a touch of a button after we load the general ledger,” Ferraiuolo says.
2. Rolling Forecasting
During the volatility and uncertainty early in the COVID-19 pandemic, traditional budgeting in the EPSi solution couldn’t keep up with frequent and dramatic shifts. “We had just done a budget that, two and a half months into the fiscal year, wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on,” says Ferraiuolo.
For Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, the solution was clear: rolling forecasting. Axiom Rolling Forecasting empowers health systems to accurately predict future financial results based on the most up-to-date financial assumptions. Organizations can break down or combine departments in the format that makes the most sense for them — and adjust as they learn what works best for their unique structure. Customizable dashboards allow leaders to easily see how each department measures up to its prior performance on a rolling basis.
3. Cost Accounting
Migrating from a system that contained unreliable data, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital found that Axiom offered several distinct cost accounting advantages. First, the solution centralized all data into one system, so cost accounting was included in the same system as management, reporting, budgeting, etc.
The organization also incorporated costing for their medical group. With insight into hospital and medical group records, Niklaus Children’s Hospital gained a more accurate sense of whether or not each case was profitable.
Similarly, ARH found Axiom’s robust costing abilities particularly useful in analyzing and comparing the costs and benefits of technology like the Da Vinci surgical system. While traditional cost-to-charge analysis fell short, Axiom Cost Accounting revealed the details that allowed Gabbard to make a strong case for implementing the Da Vinci system at ARH.
4. Decision Support Tools
With Axiom Enterprise Decision Support, both organizations gained enhanced decision-making and financial analysis tools.
Nicklaus Children’s Hospital used ICD-10 principal diagnosis codes to redefine service lines, which revealed a wealth of insight into service line performance. Finance leaders can now see which service lines are profitable and ensure that they don’t erode those profit margins when adding to or expanding those service lines. They can also pinpoint potential service lines to remove.
Another benefit? Axiom’s data visualizations present information in easy-to-understand formats.
“This saves a ton of time for analysts,” says Gabbard.
Historically, ARH analysts had to upload and manually clean and organize data in Excel, then use pivot tables to create useful summaries. With Axiom, insights are available instantly through convenient dashboards, or with intuitive ad hoc reporting.
5. Comparative Analytics
Between staff shortages and rising labor costs, labor management is top of mind for most hospitals and health systems. In the past, ARH staffing productivity reporting compared only internal best practices between ARH facilities. With Axiom’s Comparative Analytics, ARH gains valuable insight from similar organizations, which helps them identify opportunities to improve staff planning. Gabbard said he specifically expects to glean knowledge about how to redistribute staff and better manage contractors.
Equipped with Axiom’s advanced EPM capabilities, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and ARH look to the future, confident that Axiom will evolve to keep pace as healthcare continues to change.
To hear more about the finance leaders’ migration experiences, listen to the full webinar, “Switching from EPSi to Axiom: Nicklaus Children's & Appalachian Regional Share Their Experience.”