Tag Archives: quality

Management’s Role in Improving Quality and Producing Safer Outcomes in Healthcare

Shon Wettstein, VP, Intalere

By Shon Wettstein, Vice President, Business Development, and Stephanie Dorwart, CEO, Altius Healthcare Consulting

 With today’s advanced technologies, healthcare providers have saved more lives than ever thought possible. Miracles are happening every day. State-of-the-art equipment currently available certainly plays a role, but these miracles are due mainly to the outstanding teams of medical professionals who utilize these resources to make improved healthcare outcomes a reality.

The outcome is the primary focus of any healthcare encounter, but the manner in which the care is being delivered is also critical. The value of outstanding customer service transcends industries and most organizations rely heavily on reputation to drive revenue. Effective public interactions, media exposure, marketing strategies and word-of-mouth are ways customer satisfaction can be measured for any entity. In healthcare, having a patient become a loyal consumer, returning for care, or being willing to recommend services to friends and family members is the ultimate goal. By continuously working on improving care delivery, healthcare organizations can not only gain operating efficiencies, but build strong customer relationships and solidify a positive reputation.

Here are important factors to consider when looking into improving hospital efficiency and functionality for your facility.

Strategic Management Planning

Even though medical services are directly provided by clinicians and their support staff, management plays an important role in the healthcare experience. Hospital leaders receive and evaluate all patient feedback and break it down into structural data. They not only have the responsibility of maintaining and balancing the environment of the facility, but they have to translate the impact of operations into critical financial decisions. It is their duty to get the hospital staff involved whenever necessary, keep them motivated to achieve the goals outlined by the organization, and ensure that great service is being provided in a cost-effective manner.

Given the dynamic environment of healthcare, this is not always an easy task. Strong leaders are required to develop realistic and achievable strategies for both improved fiscal and quality performance.

Regular Physician Practice Reviews

Among the best ways to improve healthcare facility efficiency in the workplace is by completing performance reviews for physicians and their team members. Whether they are done annually, bi-annually, or quarterly, they are an excellent way to encourage providers to meet goals and continually enhance the patient experience.

Often, people tend to foresee performance reviews as being a negative or biased experience. However, if they are constructed in such a way that they serve to reward one’s efforts and contributions then they can have a greater positive effect.

Conducting Benchmarking Meetings

Leadership will generally take on this particular task as it usually deals with financial references and comparison reports pertaining to revenue, productivity and expenditures. During a benchmark meeting, those present will compare key metrics, prioritize improvement opportunities and create a successful action plan for implementing change.

Other points that are reviewed during a benchmark meeting would be the facility’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis). This helps the organization to further explore, identify and analyze all of the important factors of operations and realize what potential exists.

Intalere Labor Advantage, powered by Altius Healthcare Consulting, can assist your healthcare facility in achieving peak potential. Our healthcare strategists pride themselves on challenging complacency with innovative practices, encouraging revitalization and continued sustainability for your organization. Contact us today for a free analysis of your organization and discover how we can help you elevate performance.

Value-Based Purchasing – Staying Focused on a Moving Target

Pilla, Lori business shot

By Lori Pilla
Vice President, Clinical Advantage and Supply Chain Optimization

Healthcare providers will once again need to adjust, learn and understand as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) raises expectations on quality and patient perception of care measures for 2015.

 Changes for FY 2015 will include:

  • –Twenty-six measures, up from the original 20
  • –Addition of an efficiency domain that focuses on Medicare spending per beneficiary
  • –Increase in the diagnosis related group (DRG) operating payment to 1.5%
  • –Elimination and addition of some individual measures from Process of Care and  Outcomes

With the enhanced goals and requirements, it is even more apparent that just maintaining current results will not be sufficient. As had been the case in earlier updates, the message is that providers must improve and show continual, consistent gains to ensure they will maximize reimbursement.

The average healthcare system in America achieved a 2.2% net operating margin in 2011. If those providers keep following along the exact same path, by 2021 their net operating margin is expected to become a 16.8% deficit. We can be certain that in the future CMS will initiate new quality performance measures and continue to withhold a higher percentage of base operating DRG funding while making sure to build a higher threshold for healthcare quality and value.

Healthcare providers will need to continue to sharpen their focus on enhancing value-based measures of care and making difficult, necessary changes to maintain and protect financial growth and sustainability.

To learn more about value-based purchasing and the changes to quality and patient perception of care measures, download this briefing from Intalere partner Studer Group, who has helped more than 1,000 healthcare organizations achieve and sustain operational, clinical and financial results.