October 19-25 is National Healthcare Quality Week in the U.S. It is a week dedicated to celebrating the importance of quality professionals in healthcare facilities who have your back whether you are the person receiving care, a loved one, or the over-worked, under-resourced provider of that care. These individuals know the power that good patient outcomes have on hospital costs— and they understood this fact long before the introduction of value-based payment models, federal incentives, and financial penalties imposed on organizations. We all cringe when we read stories about patients harmed by medical errors, missed symptoms, and families outraged by sub-optimal care. For years, quality professionals have been evaluating the quality of patient care 24/7 and 365 days a year, focusing teams and tools on getting to the bottom of these issues in order to make them a thing of the past.
Today, these teams are not solely clinical. CFOs and financial teams also recognize the importance of quality care and the downstream effect it can have on core measures and reimbursement. With penalties and scrutiny getting steeper each year, clinical and financial teams are now joining together to identify, initiate, and measure quality outcomes because the fiscal viability of institutions is becoming increasingly dependent upon their successful performance with core measures, hospital readmissions, hospital-acquired conditions (HACs), Delivery System Reform Incentive Programs, as well as varied state reporting.
The pressure does not end there, however. Watchdog agencies, consumers, and the media are vigilant in their efforts to monitor and publicize hospital performance and failures. Unfortunately, it is a rare occurrence that success or improvements in patient care are celebrated. I’d like to spotlight the success and leadership Barnabas Health has had in protecting their patients and their bottom line. Read this interview with Deb Larkin Carney, vice president of quality in Healthcare Finance News to see how she spans the quality and finance bridge or watch this webinar, “Protecting the Patient and Your Bottom Line.”
Happy National Quality Week!