EDITOR'S NOTE: Special thanks to today's guest blogger, Reid Kiser*
It’s probably safe to say that we have all established goals – for ourselves or others – at some point in our lives. In follow-up to last week’s blog, I’d like to focus on goals related to improving the quality of healthcare. This has been a major focus for the industry over the past few decades. And most recently, the concept of value-based healthcare has taken root, whereby organizations are increasingly mindful of inefficiencies and waste.
But, where does one begin with establishing goals for improving quality? How does one know where efficiencies can be gained? Wait, there’s waste in our healthcare system? It’s hard to believe, considering the numbers of patients who can’t obtain the care they need to begin with.
I think the Quadruple Aim is a great place to start. It may sound overwhelming, so let me break it down:
- Improve Patient Experience: It’s all about the patient. After all, improving patient health and outcomes are the primary reasons we have a healthcare system today.
- Improve Population Health: A collaborative, systems-based approach is critical for delivering the right care, to the right people, at the right time. Siloed care doesn’t provide for the greater good.
- Reduce Health Care Costs: To reduce costs or simply reduce growth in costs – it’s often about the bottom line. The sickest patients can certainly challenge this notion. However, there is typically an opportunity to gain efficiencies and improved value over time.
- Improve Provider Experience: We must have providers and healthcare professionals that are motivated to provide the best patient care possible. Job satisfaction is a key driver of workplace success.
From the perspective of emergency care, an area of healthcare in which I’m currently engaged, efficiency is critical. Every second counts when it comes to managing a patient’s condition (e.g., stroke, heart attack, trauma). As I mentioned last week, time is tissue; time is brain. There are so many care teams that need to be quickly connected for delivering the best patient outcomes. One communication mishap or delay in treatment can lead to significant complications and healthcare costs. Providers are beyond stressed.
All of these factors can serve as the basis for goal-setting around emergency care policies and procedures, and managing patients with time-sensitive events. The Quadruple Aim can then serve as the foundation or structure for organizing the more specific goals. And there you have it.
In my next blog, I’ll address quality measurement, and how we can apply standardized metrics to improve performance and reduce variability over time. But first, identify those quality and performance goals!
*Reid Kiser is the Founder, President, and CEO of Kiser Healthcare Solutions. Reid is an innovative leader who has served in a variety of capacities with healthcare organizations over the past 20 years addressing healthcare quality, performance measurement, data analytics and reporting, and business systems design. He currently provides strategic consulting services and subject matter expertise through client engagements and multi-stakeholder panels focused on improving healthcare quality. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.