Hiring consultants to assist in or lead performance improvement projects has become a standard practice in healthcare. Internal resources are limited or inadequate to keep up with the rapidly changing health care landscape. Payors, such as Medicare and insurance companies require impartiality when collecting, analyzing and reporting quality data information. It is vital to select a consultant that knows how to tailor fit their services to the organization requesting assistance. IDMS works with the people in each organization to find new, appropriate tools and processes to fit their needs and implement in a way that they fit and intertwine with current tools and processes that are working. This approach may take extra time but it creates a more comfortable and sustainable transformation. IDMS consultants bear this in mind when they begin a project, knowing that many modifications will likely affect every part of the organization in some way.
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and The Joint Commission (TJC) have created quality initiatives called core measures. These quality initiatives have helped organizations determine what to measure and how to improve patient care by adhering to evidence based practices. These core measures have standardized definitions for each indicator to help ensure that all facilities are measuring correctly and consistently, comparing apples to apples. All organizations are not created equal. Each one has its own unique patient population, employees, financial and physical challenges and management style. Knowing this, IDMS does not use the ‘one size fits all’ approach to consulting. To really impact performance improvement and quality of care, you need user friendly tools and clear, logical coaching on how to implement evidence based practices and collect and analyze results. This is an ongoing process. It needs to be an integral part of your organization’s day to day approach to patient care.
Benchmarking your organization’s performance against the top performing facilities in the nation can help ascertain any obvious weaknesses in processes and outcomes of care. By doing this, the organization can look at its strategic plan and implement processes to help achieve the improvement s in vulnerable performance areas. Accurately collecting data is important, but analyzing, improving and controlling processes that lead to and sustain improvement is the ultimate goal. By scrutinizing your organizations data, identifying any opportunities for improvement and implementing a realistic plan for correction, your organization can bring processes and outcomes together in the creation of a workable strategy tailored to fit it’s specific needs and the needs of the community it serves. It’s a big challenge, but when done properly, performance improvement can give your organization a good competitive advantage.
Performance improvement goes deeper than patient care — it also contributes to market share expansion, healthier fiscal and monetary budgets, and enhanced employee productivity and satisfaction. In the not-so-distant future, Medicare reimbursement will be based on outcomes. Your organization’s data is already posted publicly and potential patients can view that information to make an informed decision as to who will provide their health care. Managed care organizations are looking at that same public data. As they choose their preferred providers, they are aware of your organizations quality and performance.