Lessons Learned From Healthcare Providers That Succeed at Improving Their Quality of Care
Many healthcare organizations today are committed to ongoing quality improvement, but actually making progress sometimes proves difficult. Even the best of intentions alone are not enough to allow a healthcare provider to consistently raise the bar with regard to how well it serves its patients.
Healthcare process improvement is achievable, however, by any organization that makes sure to put the right pieces in place from the beginning. While it can take some effort to get ready, laying down a strong, suitable foundation will virtually ensure plenty of success thereafter.
The Three Keys to Improving Quality of Healthcare
There are now enough organizations that have met with success in this area that plenty of useful evidence is available. In almost every case, providers that successfully pursue quality improvement in healthcare do so with the aid of three crucial tools. With each of the building blocks being just as important as the others, these are:
Data. Surprisingly, many healthcare organizations try to improve the quality of the care they provide without having any means in place to assess progress or even define what that means. It will always be necessary to measure the quality of results and processes and be ready to make the data that emerges available for analysis. This will often require deploying systems that are specialized to suit such needs, even within organizations that might normally be thought to be on the cutting edge. Data warehousing solutions regularly prove to be just as important as acquiring the information used to fill them and should never be overlooked.
Buy-in. It might be supposed that issuing a mandate would be enough to motivate healthcare professionals to come on board with the mission of improving quality. In practice, resistance on the ground is a persistent and common cause of failure even when these dedicated individuals are most devoted to their patients. Improving the quality of healthcare an organization provides inevitably requires an acceptance of change among those who are most deeply and personally involved.
Leverage. Finally, it will always be necessary to empower appropriate stakeholders with the ability to actually effect required changes. Effectively directing and overseeing quality management in healthcare is only possible when the required tools are available.
Working Toward Better Care for Every Patient
Once these crucial components are in place, improving the quality of the healthcare an organization provides inevitably becomes much easier. Only while all of these equally important parts remain present can continuing, consistent progress be made.