3 steps healthcare leaders must take to measure care quality

As part of the push to transition from volume-based care models to value-based care, hospitals and other providers increasingly monitor their performances on outcomes measures, but leaders need to take an active role to make sure  their organizations truly measure quality, according to a blog post from the Harvard Business Review.

Leaders who successfully factor outcomes measurement into their organizations identify several essential strategies, according to the post. Here are three of them:  

Identify clinicians committed to outcomes measurement: In many cases clinicians are already collecting outcomes data unofficially, so it's important to ally with them to drive organization-wide interest. For example, the post points to the Mayo Clinic's Jacksonville, Florida, location, where neurologist Ryan Uitti, M.D., tracked outcomes for Parkinson's patients using a spreadsheet for more than 10 years before the clinic's Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery enlisted him to help implement a larger measurement program.

Commit long-term resources and time: Leaders must not abandon outcomes measurement investments simply because they don't pay off immediately, according to the authors. For example, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board in Wales made major investments in outcomes measurement amid financial austerity, focusing largely on information technology development, after leaders decided it was the best long-term strategy for clinical and financial improvement.

Adapt and scale early successes for the entire organization: For example, at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden, CEO Barbaro Fridén, M.D., initially focused the hospital's outcome measurement efforts on areas with particular room for improvement, such as arthroplasty, but after developing tools for measurement, was able to apply them to issues such as falls, nausea and post-surgical mobility as well.

"Innovative organizations are still paving the way for value transformation, and the keys to success are not all known," the post states. "But by taking these early steps, healthcare leaders can begin moving in the right direction for long-term success."

To learn more:
- read the post