Quality Improvement Tools

Added June 11, 2019

Quality Improvement Tools: Volume Growth within Healthcare and Patient Ease of Access

A brief history and discussion of Quality standards, initiatives, and programs leading to the healthcare revolution of the 21st century.

A Background History into the Origins of Quality:

The focus on quality can be traced back to the late 13th century around medieval Europe when the formation of guilds introduced rules and standards for service and product quality. These standards, also noted as ‘marks or symbols’ were utilized right through till the time of the industrial revolution at the beginning of the 19th century when the American factory systems emphasized quality control, audits, and inspections.

Quality became critical during World War II with the initiation of product safety inspections of every military unit produced to ensure safe operation. This protocol turned out to be very time consuming and costly for the U.S. Armed Forces in cost and personnel. To ease this predicament, sample inspection was developed, and industry consultants were born, as well as specialized training courses in quality control (SQC) techniques.

Quality in the early 20th century pointed the way for the addition of “processors” in quality practices. Processors yield data. Data can be analyzed with the use of statistical techniques to discern if a process is constant and in control or if it is being affected by other unique causes that could be remedied towards improvements. This laid the foundation for the development of our modern-day quality tools like control charting.

Leading into the 21st century and through relationships with other major developing countries like Japan, price competition decreased while quality competition increased. Many CEOs of major companies stepped forward to share their unique expertise within the quality movement through personal leadership, this led to a U.S response which not only focussed on statistics but promoted quality innovations that focused on the whole organization, otherwise known as Total Quality Management (TQM).

Today, TQM has matured to include:

  • Risk management
  • Customer/patient satisfaction
  • Employee effectiveness and satisfaction
  • Quality function deployment
  • Organizational quality approaches with significant bottom-line benefits
  • Quality management standards for different industries
  • Quality standards and practices moving beyond manufacturing to be included in areas such as healthcare, government, education, and small business, services and non-profit

CareAdopt: A Tool Box for Healthcare Professionals

A few of the areas that have been developed within different programs to address quality include financial initiatives that increase revenue, patient quality-focused care strategies and incorporating the patient as part of the care team.

During the next 5 -10 years, as patient access and communication take the lead role, patient-centered care is going to be the focus and the main aspiration for all high-quality healthcare systems.

While implementing the above strategies, CareAdopt’s remote technology care management takes the care further by lifting barriers stemming from traditional practices and outdated structures and puts an organization ahead of the competition through efficiency improvement, process improvement, and better patient care.

CareAdopt provides support and powerful tools for data analysts that allows them to separate patient populations into high-risk and low-risk categories. This is called patient risk stratification and are specifically designed technology enables the remote care management program to be tailored to meet this patient needs.

For a person struggling with chronic, comorbid, and psychiatric illness, the patient experience can be altogether more overwhelming than the illness. As we have seen in traditional healthcare, patients have become ‘lost’ in the system and do not receive the treatment and support they need, resulting in costly and time-consuming readmissions and worst-case scenario, death. By prioritizing these high acuity patients using data from the EHR analysts can isolate these patients, see the gaps, and look for quality opportunities to improve care.

CareAdopt can then generate better outcomes with fewer readmissions and offer a better quality of care and better patient experience. Risk stratification is the key to successful healthcare management and practices, especially in rural community settings.

The aim within the CareAdopt program is to increase patient compliance through a real-time application on their phone which is monitored remotely by a qualified care team; patients are supported and encouraged to take active engagement in their illness and work with their care providers towards stabilized and positive health outcomes. The benefits result in higher patient satisfaction, more confidence in providers and positive outcomes in physical and mental health which will inspire the patients and their closest community to give positive reviews and recommendations which ultimately, enhancing an organization’s growth.

Today as healthcare strives to improve quality, patient access, cost of care and health outcomes, CareAdopt’s technology offers the total package covering value-based requirements, supporting the needs of the highest risk patients while taking care of their providers and offering benefits all the way through the organization to administration level.

Mary Lou Mastro Elmhurst (Ill.) from Memorial Healthcare states:

“We are all in some state of transition from a volume- to value-based payment system. It takes an enormous amount of resources to track and improve on hundreds of core measures and outcome metrics. Prioritizing and focusing the team on the most critical elements requires great discipline.”

CareAdopt is the answer and provides the support for a healthcare organization to take a proactive stand in transitioning to value-based care while increasing quality treatment, resources, patient satisfaction, and internal growth.