Healthcare providers across the country are continually focused on quality improvement. The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration defines quality improvement as systematic and continuous actions that lead to measurable improvement in healthcare services and the overall health of targeted patient groups. Furthermore, U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration defines quality improvement as systematic and continuous actions that lead to measurable improvement in healthcare services and the overall health of targeted patient groups's a direct correlation between the level of improved health services and the desired health outcomes of individuals and populations.
The National Quality Forum (NQF) notes that studies have indicated that American adults receive recommended care only about 55 percent of the time and that 30 percent of healthcare spending is wasteful and produces no value to the patient. The organization highlights the four key principles of a successful quality improvement program as QI work as systems and processes, focus on patients, focus on being part of the team and focus on use of the data.
Turning to Technology
Healthcare providers are increasingly utilizing technology to track and evaluate quality of care. Now that there are tools and technology to analyze and manipulate big data, it is possible to turn it into actionable information for quality improvement initiatives. In this blog, we’ll focus on three technologies used by providers to improve the quality of care they provide to patients.
Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
EHR systems enable healthcare organizations to gather patient data from disparate systems for a more comprehensive patient record. Through the use of dashboards and mobile technology, clinicians have patient information from EHRs at their fingertips, giving them the opportunity to make more informed medical decisions and reduce adverse effects from incorrect treatment. EHRs also give patients better access to their own personal health information (PHI), allowing them to be more involved in their medical care and often increasing their satisfaction with their providers. Furthermore, national surveys of doctors have shown evidence that EHRs make patient records readily available during patient visits, providing clinical benefits, which enables better patient care.
More and more healthcare organizations are using predictive analytics to enhance their transition to value-based care. By taking information from existing data sets to determine patterns and predict future outcomes and trends, providers can better determine which patients are at risk for a specific disease, whether they are at a high risk for hospital readmission and what treatment plan(s) best fit those patients’ needs. Predictive analytics not only contributes to improved quality of care but also can reduce operational costs.
According to the American Telemedicine Association, telemedicine is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s clinical health status. Benefits of telemedicine include:
- Improved Access – Patients in remote locations can enjoy access to an array of healthcare services, even with a shortage in providers.
- Cost Efficiencies – Telemedicine has been shown to reduce the cost of healthcare and increase efficiency through better management of chronic diseases, reduced travel times and fewer or shorter hospital stays.
- Improved Quality – Patients have access to specialists and other clinicians not typically located near them, allowing them to obtain higher quality medical care. Plus, telemedicine reduces travel time and related stresses for those patients.
At Syntrix Consulting, we know it takes more than technical skills to identify improvement opportunities in healthcare. We offer services and solutions that allow you to achieve optimal benefits from your technology and the data you obtain. Let us work with you to show you how We Make Healthcare Data Talk™. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more.
These are just a few ways that technology could be used to improve quality care. For more information on what Epic reporting is, how it could help your healthcare facility, and how to have a successful implementation, download our FREE eBook: