Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Quality: Top of Mind in Healthcare

If there is one topic on the minds of healthcare providers these days, it is the radical shift from volume to value. By this I mean, moving from a fee-for-service model based on the volume of treatment toward alternative payment models that reward value, improve outcomes, and reduce costs.

And while the industry struggles on a daily basis with the practical realities of this shift—the conundrum of waiting for the practices of our industry to catch up to the aspirations that this shift aims for—I am at my core committed to working each day to fostering an environment that provides world class care.

Over the last several years, I, along with my team, have put improving quality and safety at the forefront of our mission. Patient safety, quality, and clinical outcomes is our number one priority. We have developed protocols, procedures and harnessed technology to keep our patients and team members healthy as well as prevent the risk of infection and reduce complications. This work has paid off in both improved outcomes and recognition in our sector.

Jupiter Medical Center recently received an “A” grade from The Leapfrog Group, a national patient safety watchdog, ranking it among the safest hospitals in South Florida as well as the United States. Jupiter Medical Center is one of only two hospitals in Palm Beach County to receive the highest level of rating.  And just last year, Consumer Reports recognized us for our low rates of C. diff and MRSA.

Finally, we have been recognized in several practice areas by the Joint Commission, which is seen as a national symbol of quality that indicates we have met or exceeded certain performance standards.

A key factor contributing to our high ratings and quality recognition is our implementation of technology in order to keep our hospital clean and our patients safe. For example, most recently, we began using the Tru-D SmartUVC. Tru-D is a robot that utilizes an ultraviolet light to disinfect rooms after a patient’s stay.

And while use of cutting-edge technology is critical, old fashion communication plays an integral role in our success. This means we work to ensure that everyone—doctor, patent, and family—receive all necessary information and are on the same page. We even implement a safety checklist to confirm that all protocols and practices have been met so as to reduce the occurrence of potential mistakes and improve results for our patients.

As healthcare becomes more and more a consumer driven business, we must be even more responsive to the specific needs of all types of patients—from the chronically ill to those with manageable health challenges to those young families or healthy older adults. The last mentioned group will be especially important to keep an eye on as they are now integrating technology and outside resources into caring for their health and have more of an opportunity for choice. And at the same time, we must continue to improve our ability to offer the highest quality of care while balancing cost and a shifting payment model. There is a lot to think about and I plan on unpacking some of these ideas further in posts in the coming weeks. I hope you will stay tuned.

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