Patient Healthcare Improvement
Patient service quality is a major priority for healthcare institutions. More than administering tests and prescriptions, it is important that the patient is confident in the ability of their medical practitioners to deliver quality medical services. In a bid to improve the service quality of a medical institution, there are several different approaches that medical institutions take. Healthcare informatics is a prime approach for improving patient healthcare.
Healthcare Informatics is concerned with the value of information technology in healthcare. Medical practice, research, and informatics are core concepts through which the services that a health care institution offers can be assessed and improved should the opportunity present itself. Health care informatics has inspired a significant improvement in the how healthcare institutions implement service delivery and process management. Some of the approaches to quality service delivery currently in use are, Value-based purchasing, Patient-Centered Care, Information Governance and Evidence-Based Practice.
While these practices are independently implemented, they present some of the most important medical practices that improve the value of clinical informative and patient safety. Measuring of patient service quality is done through the implementation of these practices and assessment of their resulting impact. Information governance and Value-based purchasing, present as two of the priority approach towards the collection of clinical informatics and measurement of the value of patient safety mechanism to medical practice.
Measuring Patient Service Quality
Measuring patient service quality is an important function of healthcare institutions. They are required to take active steps to improve the value of service. Measurement of patient service quality puts this ever progressive process into perspective through statistical data. The use of one treatment option over the other may present better recovery for a specific ailment. In mental health, the ability to determine which strategies enhance quantity measurement is an irreproachable competency for the practice (Middleton et al., 2013).
To implement strategies to improve measurement. There must first be a clear implementation of technological and statistical practices that will collect succinct data on patients and medical practice (Hawkins et al., 2015). Information can only be valuable is the raw data from which it stems is relevant, factual and specific. It is, for this reason, that implementation of strategies like information governance and patient-centered care realize important data for the valuable data measurement (Hawkins et al., 2015).
Patient safety and Clinical Informatics are interdependent practices that realize real measurements of patient prognosis. To have a real impact on the value of patient service quality. The medical practices a hospital has must set measures to improve the value of its clinical practice (Hawkins et al., 2015). In doing this, healthcare institutions incorporate into their practice measures that improve service as clinical informatics takes note of both changes in clinical practice and a corresponding change in patient recovery (Hawkins et al., 2015).
Implementing these measures involves consideration of cost efficiency and value for the service provided through these practices. Medical institutions, therefore, implement value-based purchasing mechanism that improves the cost efficiency of medical practice. Other strategies like evidence-based practice and information governance further improve the value of measuring clinical service quality (Hawkins et al., 2015).
Value Based Purchasing For Healthcare Institutions
Value-based purchasing (VBP) is the medical practice where patient are only required to pay for medical services that offered the most value for their treatment. By tying the payments for medical services to the service provision of a hospital, medical practitioners are given enough incentive to perform their duties. Patients, on the other hand, are assured of safe and quality medical services from their doctors. There are several influences that have pushed value-based purchasing in health care to its current state. By implementing a payment system that favors value for money, hospitals can improve their medical practices based on the VBP report (Tanenbaum, 2016).
Value-based purchasing rewards medical institution based on three criterion; Quality of the care that they provide their (Medicaid) patients, the steps that a hospital takes to improve the patient experience and on the ground enforcement of on paper clinical practices. These three criteria offer medical practitioners’ distinct perspectives from which they can implement value-based medical purchasing (Tanenbaum, 2016).
The Affordable Care Act made sure to make a strict rule that would oversee the implementation of practical and valid assessment criteria of the quality of medical services offered based on the care plan for patients and the corresponding domains as stipulated by the Centers for Medicaid Services (CMS) program (Tanenbaum, 2016). These checks offer both medical practitioners and insurers valid assessment criteria for medical services provided.
In the CMS assessment criteria, there are scores that detail the ‘Achievement’ of a medical institution and the ‘Improvements’ noted from the previous assessment. The achievement points for hospitals are awarded on a relative basis (Tanenbaum, 2016). That is, by comparing the hospital rates during delivery of service and the hospital rates throughout the baseline period. Hospitals that attain an exhibit quality services score 10, those below the threshold score are awarded no points, and those that fall between 1-10 represent hospitals that have attained the threshold baseline criteria but failed to reach the achievement criteria (Tanenbaum, 2016).
Improvement points are then awarded based on the hospital's performance between performance periods and the baseline period. It is calculated for each hospital. In addition to the improvement points. The CMS criteria also accommodate the Consistency points for hospitals. It represents another assessment criteria that looks into the performance of a hospital based on the Patient Experience of care from the hospital. The total points awarded then tell the value that a hospital presents to its patient about the price set for treatment (Tanenbaum, 2016).
Information is one of the most valuable assets in any organization. More than any other organizational input. Information is the core asset through which the different organizational processes are performed. It, therefore, is important to ensure that the information on which an organization performs different activities is governed. Information governance speaks to the ability of a company to store, classify, analyze and use information. Its value cuts across all other approaches towards improved service quality (Grace, 2014).
Information governance unlike traditional methods of information management ensures that the information that hospitals and clinics use is reliable and actionable through the organizational structure and the strategic plan of the hospital. Healthcare institutions are innately tied to the information that they use in delivery and administration of quality information. Information such as patient history and even insurance data is invaluable to the productive operation of a hospital (Grace, 2014). It, therefore, is important to ensure that hospitals make use of this information in the treatment of the patient as it determines the recovery and service of a hospital.
Information governance is more of a management competency as opposed to medical standard. It must be noted, that healthcare and information are interdependent in providing care and improving the quality service delivery (Grace, 2014). Information, therefore, presents as a critical asset for proper treatment of patients. In safeguarding the information on which a hospital operates, the management of the hospital presents accountability and strategy in the provision of healthcare services. Healthcare informatics is innately bound to information governance as it implements all principles of the discipline (Grace, 2014).
Some of the processes that information governance relies on include; decision-making, performance improvement, and cost management. Performance improvement comes into perspective through comparison of the methods and treatment option that patients have been prescribed in the past. Additionally, process improvement through mitigation of redundancies and error can be achieved through the implementation of information governance. Hospitals can better manage their patient capacity, drug inventory and even employee schedule. It, therefore, goes without saying that information governance is a core competency when it comes to the quality of patient service delivery Improving on the management of these critical institutional functions is dependent on information governance (Grace, 2014).
Nursing represents part of the medical profession with which the value of Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) to patient treatment and recovery. There are several steps that hospitals take to ensure that the implementation of Evidence Based Practice is both embraced and implemented in a controlled environment. There are committees of nurses and doctors who are responsible for the assessment and accreditation of clinical practices that are new to the medical profession (Warren et al., 2016).
Some of the activities in which hospitals take part include the commissioning of a committee, and review of potential medical practices that might have an immediate impact on service delivery (Warren et al., 2016). The committee is tasked with research and training of medical practitioners on new treatment and care approaches the committee is also responsible for the development of an EBP model and setting of organizations goals and activities in line with the EBP model. Hospitals can also select EBP councils that have the responsibility of selection of the EBP model to be applied in a hospital setting (Warren et al., 2016).
Other important approaches include the use of an educational model to teach and supervise the value of EBP on hospital’s clinical practice. In the educational approach, there are often different learning and teaching models that health professionals use to ensure that the implementation of EBP models is done in an appropriate and optimum manner. Consequently, the hospital can decide to use a focus group to determine the best EBP practice they can use (Warren et al., 2016). The use of a focus group often requires that an underlying philosophy is a guiding factor in coining a vision and mission for the continued use of the model. It is in this measure that the use of EBP realized the benefit to the patient treatment and recovery (Warren et al., 2016)
Measuring Patient Service Quality is a professional and ethical consideration that all medical practitioners strive to achieve. It is important to ensure that clinicians simply don't practice medicine but are proactive in improving their skill set and efficiency of their service. Measuring patient quality is an important obligation as it allows hospitals and clinics to set goals and align these goals to the organizational and professional objectives of the institution (Hawkins et al., 2015).Value-based purchasing, and information governance present as the priority practices, medical institutions should implement to realize positive service quality assessments and improved service quality.
Information Governance and Evidence Based Practice, rely solely on the internal organization of a hospital and its management (Hawkins et al., 2015). They, therefore, offer a clear perspective of the value of service delivery in a hospital through clinical informatics. Policy reforms like Medicaid offer hospital external pressure to ensure that practices like Value-based purchasing are implemented (Tanenbaum, 2016). It, therefore, is a quality measure that hospitals have to implement is the wish to serve patients on Medicaid (Tanenbaum, 2016). Evidence-based practice, on the other hand, is not influenced per say by hospital initiative as it relies on the industry for details on better treatment and care options (Warren et al., 2016). In addition to this, it often requires extensive research on the alternative care options. It is both time-consuming and costly to many healthcare institutions (Warren et al., 2016).
Based on the literature, there are several important ideas that form. First, healthcare is dependent on the information that circulates the industry. From evidence based practice to value-based purchasing, all healthcare institutions present their statistics to a larger pool from which policy and practice are developed (Middleton et al., 2013). Credible information is an irreproachable competency for hospitals. It is, therefore, important to look at other measures hospitals take and validate them based on their impact on patient service quality (Middleton et al., 2013).
In measuring patient service quality, hospitals make use of clinical informatics to come up with rational and valuable data on which patient safety is based. It is important to ensure that throughout the measurement of patient service quality. Hospitals inadvertently improve their practice. Practices like Value Based Purchasing are immediate measures of the service quality a medical institution offers. By relating the services that a medical institution provides with is financial data, real measurements for the value of hospital service are realized (Middleton et al., 2013).
Consequently, the management of the entire data collection process improves the integrity of the data collected. Information governance is an imperative practice in measurement of patient service quality. More than any other practice, information governance ensures that relevant and real data is processed and used for assessment of medical practice. Automation of clinical processes, for instance, is a direct use of clinical informatics to effect measurement of patient service quality (Middleton et al., 2013).
Information Technology presents some of the most important opportunities that healthcare institutions can manipulate to improve their service delivery. While clinical informatics does not practically affect patient safety, it is a real reflection of the clinical practices that hospitals implement. It is, therefore, important to improve on medical practices like value-based purchasing and information governance. They are directly imperative to the measurement of patient service quality. Other measures like Evidence-Based Practice also improve the value of clinical informatics through literary analysis of the medical practice in hospitals. The statistical data can have complimentary literary discussions on the value of medical service in a hospital. It is in this way that healthcare institutions implement the measurement of patient service quality.
Grace, J. (2014). The Information Governance Review and the new legal framework for informatics. British Journal of Healthcare Management, 20(1), 40-44. http://dx.doi.org/10.12968/bjhc.2014.20.1.40
Hawkins, J., Brownstein, J., Tuli, G., Runels, T., Broecker, K., & Nsoesie, E. et al. (2015). Measuring patient-perceived quality of care in US hospitals using Twitter. BMJ Quality & Safety, 25(6), 404-413. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjqs-2015-004309
Middleton, B., Bloomrosen, M., Dente, M., Hashmat, B., Koppel, R., & Overhage, J. et al. (2013). Enhancing patient safety and quality of care by improving the usability of electronic health record systems: recommendations from AMIA. Journal Of The American Medical Informatics Association, 20(e1), e2-e8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/amiajnl-2012-001458
Tanenbaum, S. (2016). What Is the Value of Value-Based Purchasing? Journal Of Health Politics, Policy, And Law, 41(5), 1033-1045. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/03616878-3632254
Warren, J., McLaughlin, M., Bardsley, J., Eich, J., Esche, C., Kropkowski, L., & Risch, S. (2016). The Strengths and Challenges of Implementing EBP in Healthcare Systems. Worldviews On Evidence-Based Nursing, 13(1), 15-24. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/wvn.12149
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