How Are We Improving Patient Quality of Care and Reducing Cost?
If you haven’t seen the Lego movie yet, you’ve either been in a coma, or just don’t have time for good cinematography. OK, it’s a movie geared at children, but it’s just good. While I do have a fondness for anything Lego, that’s not why I wrote this. This article is intended to spark thought, to start a conversation, to start formulating a plan, or review where you are in your current plan. What am I referring to? Quality Improvement. Specifically, programs designed to lower cost while increasing the quality of care, including Medicare-sponsored initiatives like PQRS, MSSP, private payer programs, and health even internal quality improvement plans. Yes, they loom over all of us in the healthcare industry with dry, vague language, seemingly impossible benchmarks, and so many moving pieces it’s tough to know if we’re getting coffee or putting on pants.
I’ve been involved in many QI programs, ranging from very small internal programs focused on workflow efficiencies, to huge multi-million dollar undertakings. In all instances, success, or the lack there-of, was not determined by one group or department within the organization. No, success is the result of a lot of hard work by members across the organization, including staff, providers, data analysts, business analysts, IT engineers, and leadership.After being in the field and getting a taste of what a quality improvement program are and how they work, they’re not that bad. In fact, watching actionable data be turned into a plan with measureable outcomes is ALMOST better than watching the Lego movie. Almost. Yet, so many organizations struggle with the who, what, where, when, and how that a solid QI program never gets off the ground, let alone implemented.
So I ask you, what does your quality improvement strategy look like? Do you know where your relevant data is? Do you have access to it? Do you have physician champions or advocates ready to push the boundaries and try new things? Is your staff comprised of people with a wide range of acumen? Do you have business analysts, data analysts, data scientists, workflow analysts, implementation teams, and Quality Improvement Experts? If you answered no to any of those, you might want to take a moment to think about how a Quality Improvement program fits your organization. It’s no longer a question of “Should we do this?”, it’s “When will we start doing this?”
In the coming months, I’ll be discussing more topics related to Quality Improvement and how Galen can help you meet and exceed your goals. It takes passion, and we have [IT]. I’ll take you through how we can help you plan for new QI programs, or help you pick the right one. I’ll also be discussing our many offerings, including, but not limited to, data integration, data warehousing, quality reporting, workflow analysis, data gap analysis, EHR optimization tips, staff augmentations. I’ll also touch on partnership opportunities to help implement, monitor, report and manage entire quality improvement initiatives from business and data analysts, data scientists, physician advocates and direct reporting to leadership.
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