Performance tracking, enhanced data help hospitals improve care

As emphasis on delivering high-quality care increases, hospitals' patient safety success stories can offer best practices to improve care.

The University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, for instance, monitors progress on quality measures such as hand hygiene, central line-associated blood stream infections and patient satisfaction, according to UCSF News.  Thanks to monitoring and data collection, the medical center increased hand-hygiene compliance to about 90 percent, its highest level.

Tracking performance information and reporting it can lead to better care, according to a new Health Affairs study. When physicians know their performance on quality care measures will be publicly reported, they are motivated to improve quality.

Similarly, tracking performance metrics helped Clearfield Hospital in Pennsylvania improve quality and patient safety, reported the Gant Daily.

The hospital reviews all patient-safety issues daily, with a committee of physicians, nurses, pharmacists and community members evaluating processes to prevent medical errors, Patient Safety Officer James P. Davidson, D.O., told the newspaper.

Collaboration also is key to patient safety success at Clearfield, which teamed up with Highmark to prevent wrong-site surgery and  surgical-site infections. The hospital also partnered with nursing and rehabilitation centers and significantly reduced readmissions, noted the Gant Daily.

For better, safer care, UCSF Medical Center is using more advanced technologies, including an electronic health record system and an online patient portal, according to UCSF News.

Advanced health IT tools led to quality improvement at Texas Children's Hospital. With an adaptive data warehouse and advanced analytics, the hospital reduced unnecessary chest X-rays in pediatric asthma patients by 15 percent in only six weeks, according to a recent announcement.

"Today, we have an adaptive data warehouse that integrates data management with evidence-based practice, operational data and financial metrics to allow us to understand the bigger scope of care delivery," Charles Macias, M.D., the hospital's director of evidence-based outcomes, said Monday in a statement. "Now we can put patients first because we can see the data."

For more:
- here's the UCSF News report
- read the Gant Daily article
- here's the Texas Children's statement