This blog post is a writing assignment for HIMT 2200: Performance Improvement, part of the Health Information Management Technology (HI13) Associate of Applied Science Degree program at Georgia Northwestern Technical College.
The Hospital Quality Initiative (HQI) aims to improve hospital care quality and to circulate hospital performance data. Distributing performance data provides a method for consumers to become informed about how and where to receive the best available medical care, encourages hospitals to provide better care, and highlights public accountability. CMS has various tools to facilitate quality improvement regarding care provided in hospitals. These tools include standards created by the CMS which it enforces and regulates, websites like Care Compare that publicly publishes quality care information for consumers and providers to compare, rewards and incentives for excellent performance on particular quality measures, resources that are community-based and continual, and partnerships to leverage resources and knowledge. The information contained on the CMS HQI website is about these tools, quality improvement reporting programs, measures for outcomes, methodology, volume and payment information of Medicare patients, and the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program (CMS.gov, 2021). The National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Healthcare has three main goals. These goals are better care, healthy people and communities, and affordable care (Spath, 2017, p. 21). The tools of the HQI initiative are valuable for working towards the same goals. Having this information tracked and available to the public pushes hospitals to continuously improve their care and helps patients find the best care for their needs, leading to better medical care and healthier people.
Healthcare organizations can benefit from the data available on the CMS Care Compare website. Hospitals see how other facilities in their area or of the same size perform. They can then use this data for benchmarking to monitor their performance comparatively to discover in what areas they need improvement and in what areas they are excelling. For example, hospital administrators can go to the CMS Care Compare website, select a particular location, and then the hospital category as the provider type. They can then choose specific hospitals in that area to compare. The website will generate a table for data to compare. When comparing the hospitals in Jackson and Forsyth, administrators would see that 95% of patients at the hospital in Forsyth say their doctors communicated well compared to 71% of patients at the hospital in Jackson. Data is also provided for Georgia’s average of 80% and a national average of 81% (CMS.gov, n.d.). This data would indicate to the Forsyth hospital that their doctors communicate with patients much better than the doctors at the Jackson hospital and better than doctors in hospitals across Georgia and the entire country. The data should also indicate to the hospital in Jackson that their doctors should improve their communication with their patients.
CMS.gov. (2021, Dec. 1). Hospital Quality Initiative. https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/HospitalQualityInits
Spath, P. L., & Kelly, D. L. (2017). Applying Quality Management in Healthcare: A Systems Approach. (4th ed.). Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press.
Chapter 2 Exercise 2.1
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