3 ways hospital leaders can improve care outcomes

Efforts to improve healthcare outcomes are often treated as the purview of frontline workers, but hospital administrators can--and must--also take steps to boost results.

If a hospital or health system is run well from the top, that quality will be reflected at the bedside, according to Health IT Consultant. And it is particularly important with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issuing penalties for poor care. But it requires leaders to:

Establish system-wide goals: While healthcare leaders aren’t doing the hands-on work of care delivery, they do need to provide clinicians with clearly-defined goals. These objectives should use patient feedback as guidelines and incorporate objective measures and number values wherever possible. Executives should also record progress toward these goals in a way that employees and administrators alike can regularly monitor.

Develop clear-cut guidelines: Lack of standardized, evidence-based procedures hurt outcomes, the article notes, and as such, administrators must use their authority to impose clear guidelines and best practices. “Using simple language, examples, images, and more, administrators can more effectively compel medical professionals to follow life-saving, comforting, and time-saving methods,” the article states.

Make sure workers understand their respective missions: Healthcare outcomes suffer when professionals assume someone else will take care of work that needs to be done. Lack of clearly-defined roles creates confusion and it’s on leaders to step in and clear it up. Execs should make sure these responsibilities are clearly delineated throughout the hiring and training processes.