Spotlight: How Betty Jo Rocchio uses data to improve care

Health Data Management recently announced the honorees in its program to recognize the Most Powerful Women in Healthcare IT. All will be recognized at our event May 12 in Boston. In leading up to that event, HDM editors are highlighting some of the honorees—today, we feature Betty Jo Rocchio, who is vice president of perioperative performance acceleration at Mercy Health System, where she oversees initiatives to improve performance and profitability..


Name: Betty Jo Rocchio

Title: Vice President, Perioperative Performance Acceleration

Organization: Mercy Health System

Years in HIT: 12

Previous Responsibilities:

  • Director, Surgical Services, Mount Carmel East Hospital, 2009 – 2013
  • System Director, Surgical Services, Mount Carmel Health System, 2013
  • Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Mount Carmel New Albany Surgical Hospital, 2005 – 2008

Current Job Responsibilities:
Betty Jo oversees the overall perioperative performance of a 38-hospital system with 32 perioperative areas. With a focus on business results, she is responsible for quality, service, and cost in perioperative services and procedural areas. She combines her strong clinical background, anesthesia management, and physician relations skills to manage and rejuvenate underperforming surgical services departments and programs, raising performance and profitability.

Primary Achievements:

  • Designed and implemented a system-wide preference card reorganization and cleanup with an automated, centralized maintenance process that produced savings of $1.2 million.
  • Created a system-wide Perioperative Business Dashboard that uses productivity metrics (first case on-time starts, OR utilization, block utilization, room and physician turnover time) to provide transparency to financial, efficiency, cost-per-case data, and outcome measures on the Mercy Intranet. Utilization of the dashboard has saved $9 million over two years in cost-per-case across the Mercy System.
  • Implemented a system-wide policy development initiative to increase standardization, improve quality outcomes, and assist front-line teams with education and ease of implementation.
  • Developed a comprehensive resource management system with perpetual inventory management for the Perioperative areas (Supply Chain and OR).
  • Executed a successful conversion to an electronic heath record in Surgical Services. Responsible for designing processes and implementing a strategic roll-out plan across all four hospitals servicing Mount Carmel Health System.
  • Developed and organized a financial budgeting template to target FTE’s and workload per unit in all departments of surgical services so consistent principles will be applied across the four hospital system.

Impact on HIT:
Throughout her career and at every post, Rocchio has complemented and bolstered her experience as a transformative surgical services executive with the successful management of HIT projects. This unique ability to manage both the business and clinical aspects using HIT as an enabler has had a profound influence within the hospitals in which she has served. In general, her track record over the years, which includes management of anesthesia, pre-admission testing, pre-operative area, operating room, post anesthesia care unit, sterile processing, and endoscopy at both an individual hospital and system level, lends itself naturally to a vision of HIT-related excellence.

In particular, her HIT-related strategic plans have often spoke to accountability; whether creating a perioperative system that provides transparency to financial and case-related detail, a financial budgeting template for FTE’s that requires that consistent principles will be applied across the hospital system, or the implementation of a new process for sponge counting across hospitals called “Accountable Executive,” Rocchio has adopted HIT as an enabler to clinical quality and efficiencies.

Rocchio’s overall HIT strategy also includes patient safety; from the development and management of the successful conversion of the paper OR record to an electronic record using the ORSOS Web Periop product, the implementation of safety guidelines and supported funding for all centrally monitored beds that included telemetry and pulse oximetry, to the execution of a major electronic health record system in surgical services, Rocchio has focused on a standardized approach to improve quality outcomes.

Management Philosophy:
My management philosophy includes a dedication to serving patients through the service line concept that involves creating an operational structure that adapts to the care of the patient and adjusts to the needs/goals of that service line. The alignment of the goals of nursing, patient care providers, leaders, and physicians produces superior outcomes.

Leadership Style:
My leadership style focuses on people, processes, and technology where appropriate to help meet the goals of the patients. A dedication to healthcare analytics to improve outcomes, technology only when appropriate, and clear, defined measures to help front line understand what is important. In today’s culture and environment, sometimes less is more.

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