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We’ve got all this data. Why not figure out how to make it most useful?

by Camille Haycock

By now, everyone knows that data is incredibly valuable, but the value doesn’t come from the data itself. It comes in how we use it.

The old method of quality management was a team digging through and prioritizing all the relevant data, then interpreting and creating initiatives around it. This created problems. For starters, it allowed for an inherent bias for the quality team. When the person in charge of quality improvement is also the one mining the data, there may be a desire to have the data show that initiatives worked. Obviously, this isn’t an ideal setup for actually improving the quality of care.

So, we don’t do it that way.

Our quality improvement program is independent from our data and analytics teams. This way the people trying to improve the numbers are removed from data retrieval. This leads to more accurate outcome measurement.  We are all working hard to make sure our initiatives are actually producing positive impact. Today we’re owning what the data shows and we’re doing something about it.

When implementing our initiatives, it’s crucial that the individual markets keep evolving to make meaningful changes. Local collaboration is most important to continually increase our quality of care. This local sense of ownership of the quality data has been culturally transformative for our organization. We’re in a constant dialogue system-wide to see where and how we can improve our quality in any and every way possible.

To that end, we have monthly meetings to look at best practices in each market. Then we determine which of them could potentially be implemented on a larger scale.  We conduct bi-monthly educational calls to scale these practices.  We also have quarterly calls with each division to go over how they might be able to improve, and address action plans aimed at improving quality, safety and patient experience in each facility within that division. In this way, we are making sure that every change we make has a positive impact on the quality of the care we provide and the patients we serve.

The current data says we are making a positive impact. Over the last three years, we’ve seen double-digit improvements in the quality and safety of care due to our initiatives. We’ve seen fewer infections, fewer readmissions and less mortality. It’s something we can all be incredibly proud of.

The push to improve care is never-ending. Every year we have new goals; however, the measures stay the same for three years. With everyone owning what they need to get done, we’re confident we can continue to make every aspect of our care better than it already is. At the end of the day, it’s all about providing better care in each of our communities.

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