Don't just talk about the Quadruple Aim; take steps to achieve it

The next time you are at a healthcare conference during which a speaker talks about the Triple Aim, use the question-and-answer period to ask about the Quadruple Aim, urged Yul Ejnes, M.D, an internal medicine physician and a past chair, board of regents, for the American College of Physicians, in a post for the KevinMD blog.

Although the Quadruple Aim--which encompasses improving the work life of healthcare workers--is not new, Ejnes is on a mission to ensure this fourth dimension of healthcare quality becomes a true priority for the industry.

"Don't worry, I'm not running for office," Ejnes wrote. "My campaign is an initiative to get us to start talking about the 'Quadruple Aim' instead of the 'Triple Aim.'" 

Improving the experience of providing care is a matter of urgency now more than ever, as the rising prevalence and severity of professional burnout threaten the well-being of physicians, nurses, medical assistants, receptionists, staff and the patients under their care.

Thus, action steps for healthcare leaders to take in carrying out the Quadruple Aim, according to the post, include the following:

  • Measure the satisfaction of providers at all levels, make it public and act on that information.
  • Include provider experience as a metric for determining overall performance by accountable care organizations and similar payment models.
  • Ensure changes to how providers deliver care improve, rather than worsen, the work life for providers. For example, provider satisfaction with an electronic health record should be just as important in the selection process as the system's effect on profitability and other factors.

The concept of the Quadruple Aim was first introduced by Thomas Bodenheimer, M.D., and Christine Sinsky, M.D., in a 2014 report published in the Annals of Family Medicine. "Healthcare is a relationship between those who provide care and those who seek care, a relationship that can only thrive if it is symbiotic, benefiting both parties," the authors concluded.

To learn more:
- read the post