5 Ways to Improve Patient Outcomes in the Modern Value-Based Healthcare
Advancements in medical science and technology are helping to create more positive patient outcomes than ever before and deliver value becomes more achievable as a result.
You will not always notice what is going on behind the scenes when you are undergoing treatment at a medical center but when the healthcare professional arrives at your bedside using one of the hospital’s mobile medical carts it will be bristling with technology and ready to help with your diagnosis and dispensing medication.
There is little doubt that hospitals are under increasing pressure to offer improved outcomes and deliver value. Here is a look at some of the ways medical centers are striving to improve their performance in a value-based care environment.
It all begins with a well-informed diagnosis
Without the benefit of timely and accurate patient diagnoses, it is going to be more challenging to deliver a successful treatment program.
This is why the medical profession is focusing its attention firmly on achieving a quick and accurate diagnosis.
Firstly, it helps to eradicate the risk of an unsuccessful or incorrect treatment program and from a cost-based perspective, the hospital will be hoping to avoid performing services that prove to be unbillable and require the patient to be readmitted at a later stage.
Diagnostic errors are a major cause for concern
The need to strive for perfection is evident when you consider that an estimated one in twenty patients in the United States is subjected to diagnostic errors.
False-positive results and images being misinterpreted are issues that are constantly being addressed by medical facilities around the globe and that is why there is a growth in knowledge-based IT systems being used to support the decision-making process.
Achieving a reliable flow of data
Good communication is a major aspect of improving patient outcomes and one of the ways that hospitals are seeking to ensure that there is a reliable flow of patient information being securely delivered across all departments is through the use of Electronic Health Records.
There are a number of medical professionals and support staff who rely on an accurate and efficient flow of information so that they can make an informed decision based on the data that is made readily available to them.
Real-time assessments are increasingly pivotal in achieving treatment success and that includes the crucial aspect of intraoperative guidance notes.
It seems to be widely accepted in the medical profession that clinical monitoring is hugely important when it comes to achieving the aim of improving patient outcomes and deriving maximum benefit from cost-efficiency initiatives.
The need to improve the perception of value and offer greater transparency
The bottom line is that healthcare is a highly competitive environment and that means you have to take a business approach to deliver great customer service and growing through reputation and recommendation.
The onus is firmly on healthcare providers to find ways to improve outcomes and deliver a greater level of transparency when it comes to dealing with patients and other components critical to the business, such as contractors and suppliers.
One of the issues facing healthcare providers is that their facilities might be lacking when it comes to having viable measurement methods in place.
The focus tends to be on medical compliance rather than on quality metrics and a prime example of this would be the fact that a widely-used measurement tool known as the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) tends to measure clinical outcomes and process measures rather than focusing on the end result of the treatment process.
Concentrating on collecting outcomes data can have a big impact in terms of identifying where improvements can be made and should provide a benchmark where patients can see how well the hospital performs and how satisfied patients are.
When you are under scrutiny for delivering value for money and achieving better patient outcomes it makes sound commercial sense to look at ways to increase visibility and make as much information available as possible so that patients can gauge performance and service levels.
Measuring specific outcomes
Following on from highlighting the need to deliver greater transparency it is also worth highlighting how important it is to try and measure outcomes that really matter to patients.
What tends to happen at the moment with a number of healthcare providers is that medical outcomes are often grouped together by medical conditions rather than by specialty.
What patients are often seeking is the level of health status achieved (such as mortality rates) and survival rates. For example, if a patient is undergoing treatment for prostate cancer they will want to know how the healthcare providers’ survival rates compare to the national average.
They will also want to know what the readmission rates are, as that is an indicator of quality and performance, and they often want full disclosure relating to the sustainability of health.
If someone is being offered a hip replacement, for instance, they will want to know that the facility they have chosen to carry out the procedure boasts a good long-term outcome.
Measuring performance and disclosing this data is a way of delivering value.
Investment is key
In order to truly deliver value-based care healthcare providers will need to have a viable investment program that meets the demands of modern consumers, which is what patients are.
That means there needs to be a strategy for investing in all aspects of the business from ensuring its computer capabilities are fit for purpose to keeping ahead of the curve when it comes to embracing the latest technology so that patients are reassured that they are getting great care and excellent value for money.
There is little doubt that value-based care is the shape of future health care providers and that is why savvy healthcare providers are already investing in the equipment and various resources that put them in a position to deliver value and demonstrate exactly how they are doing that for every patient that comes under their care.