Abstract:Mercy Medical Center, a Vila Health-affiliated hospital is an organization that strives in improving quality of care.
The Hospital CEO Dashboard shows the growing problem of falls, errors, and the need for more staff. Also, Local readmission rates for pneumonia and heart failure are higher than national rates. Different approaches measure the performance of healthcare to assess their effectiveness. This paper introduces benchmarking strategies focusing on problems related to performance.
Benchmarking analysis must be performed consistently. All data from the dashboard are examined. Specific challenges that meeting benchmarks and possible strategies are discussed. To demonstrate the efficiency of benchmarking strategies, the group of stakeholders participates in clinical decisions and evidence that approves of it. These stakeholders may be patients, policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as associations, physicians, nurses, and caregivers.
Each stakeholder has a specific and beneficial viewpoint that is efficient in the quality of care. Keywords: quality care, performance, benchmarking, dashboard, stakeholders Benchmark Evaluation: Hospital CEO DashboardMercy Medical Center is a Vila Health affiliated hospital that has been inefficient in some areas of care such as increased falls, medication and documentation errors, and the need for more staff based on the Hospital CEO Dashboard data. Healthcare is transforming, efficiency is increasing as new technology is adopted, measurements are being made to find where care needs to be improved. Quality of care needs to be improved.
Dashboard Metrics EvaluationHealthcare, policies or laws have changed over time. For an organization to track performance progress, healthcare metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) need to be used in the right way. A KPI is a measurement that allows the understanding of the organization’s performance.
Healthcare companies must make sure they are meeting new standards. There are several metrics involved such as quality of care and performance. These constitute care, communication, and operation. In Mercy Medical Center, care and communication are below the mandated benchmarks. The Hospital CEO Dashboard data shows that quality of care needs to be improved for pneumonia and heart failure. Oliver (2014) suggests that both the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) and the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) lean toward the quality care of patients. The PPACA deals specifically with the resources for delivery of care while JCAHO relies on steps taken and construction to achieve goals. All issues need to be addressed and discussed with everyone involved.
Challenges Meeting BenchmarksThere are many challenges that Mercy Medical Center faces. For example, the quality of patient care is affected by the staff-to-patient ratio. There are not enough staff as required to meet the daily census.
There needs to be enough staff to assist all patients and specific to their needs as each staff has specific duties. Also, the use of resources is crucial to care. Because readmission rates of COPD are slightly higher nationally than locally, patients leaving the facility may not be well at the time of discharge.
The facility may not be efficient at utilizing equipment, and this can affect patient satisfaction as well. Identifying how peers and other companies perform research, site visits, surveys will help staff identify insight and ideas that will allow them to accomplish and perform the same task efficiently. There are no data on finances, but it would have been beneficial especially that orthopedics and bariatric services have increased in falls. These falls readmit patients into the facility and they must pay more for treatment. The price of each treatment is also unknown.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there is affordable health insurance for everyone. With fewer insurance claims denial, more time is spent on patient care rather than paperwork. The pharmacy is involved as it delivers prescribed medication. Staff is still committing medication errors even though everything is labeled. They need to focus especially that it is during surgeries that these errors occur. In addition, documentation is important, and staff needs to be educated on how to record data.
Patients take different medications, have different needs and are of a different race, age, and gender, and come from anywhere. All aspects are important when caring for patients when effective measures need to be taken. All healthcare providers in the organization have different background and positions to fulfill. The organization must collaborate with other companies while comparing practices and performance from within, and with peers from other industries.
General processes are used to introduce new thinking in the healthcare organization. To drive change in the quality of care, the organization must use new dataset. For example, admission process can be compared to that of another organization.
The focus is to get someone from one point to another. Looking at other industries and companies will enable in making a significant improvement in the overall care of patients. Target benchmark underperformance Performance has the greatest degree. Staff might not be giving medication within interval hour required or may administer wrong medication to the wrong patient, or wrong dosage. Also, Mercy Medical Center does not have enough staff. One question is whether all these are competent at what they are supposed to do. Patients should receive follow-up after their visit to the hospital to know whether they are improving or not.
According to Boozary, Manchin, and Wicker (2015), readmission rates have increased the cost of care; the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) agrees as well. Not only patients have to pay more when readmitted, taxpayers are also affected by the high cost of this issue. The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) approved in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requires that hospitals be fined when patients are readmitted within thirty days of discharge. The program also encourages hospitals to improve quality of care and effectively discharge patients when appropriate.
Internal BenchmarkingSatisfaction affects both patients and staff. All activities while caring for patients need to be documented. This is beneficial in improving quality of care for patients when both parties communicate with one another. If staff are not satisfied with their duties, there will be poor performance. This, in turn, affects patients bringing problems from operations or services. This is not a great marketing tool for the organization.
Both patients’ lives and staff career are in jeopardy. Mercy Medical Hospital is affected by internal benchmarking in many ways. When patients provide feedback, these can be posted on the company’s website, so the community can view it and decide whether they want to go there for treatment. Bad reviews can only draw people somewhere else.
Because Mercy Medical Center has no known reviews other than data provided in dashboards, satisfaction needs to be calculated when combining several factors such as communication and the whole process of care.Opportunity for Overall QualityThe greatest opportunity to improve the overall quality or performance of the organization, and ultimately to improve patient outcomes lies in communication. Communication brings positive relationships between healthcare team members and their patients. For example, the Hospital CEO Dashboard shows increased falls in orthopedics and bariatric services. This needs to be communicated and staff needs to find ways to help patients avoid these falls. The organization must establish relationships with other organizations as well to boost the efficiency of operation and procedures. Stakeholders and Ethical ActionThere are diverse stakeholders appropriate to act in improving identified benchmark metric.
Patients are the center of debates concerning the health care system. They have the most to lose and gain, it is up to them how much power and influence they want to have. They must make their own decisions based on their beliefs. For example, patients can choose to use orthopedics and bariatric services as these result in increased falls. They can discuss with their healthcare providers to find ways in avoiding them. Nurses and other CliniciansHealthcare providers are the frontline. Their intentions are to do good to patients. They must be trained to have skills and knowledge needed to treat each patient circumstance specifically.
All patients are different, thus require different treatments. Staff needs to find ways to improve medication and documentation errors as these affect the health of patients and may cause harm when data is miscommunicated. In addition, they need to follow guidelines of the PPACA for readmission rates as these can penalize the organization (Francis, 2017). Policy MakersHealth care policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as associations, regulate healthcare professions through legislation. They make health care decisions based on available evidence. The HRRP from the PPACA ensures that healthcare providers are encouraged for the effective quality care of patients.
The ACA provides affordable health insurance to low-income families. The JCAHO evaluates the organization to help improve quality care. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) (2018) uses tools to determine standards of quality healthcare and that providers meet them.
Those tools monitor different aspects of quality care such as prevention quality that will be used to determine readmissions that could have been avoided; inpatient quality concerns the lack of care in the hospital especially that the flow of patients is chaotic and there is not enough staff to attend everybody; patient safety deals with avoiding complications caused by outdated hospital equipment, making sure that all equipment is up to date and functioning well.The stakeholder group should act because they are affected by reforms to the system. There is demographic change over time and lifestyle-related diseases such as COPD continue to rise. Healthcare professionals need to raise awareness that will help promote change in behavior such as nutrition and physical activities. Benchmarking is necessary for the continuous improvement of healthcare processes and performance.
Mercy Medical Center can use these standards to compare factors such as performance, profitability, how energy is spent, etc. Strategic initiatives need to be taken to optimize quality care and apply best practices while using their data for effective care. References: Capella University. (2018). Vila Health: Dashboard and health care benchmark evaluation. Retrieved from https://media.capella.edu/CourseMedia/NHS6004/DashboardandHealthCareBenchmarkEvaluation/media.
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