Measuring Outcomes in Healthcare: “The Data Does Not Lie”
July 19, 2013 | Hoag Orthopedic Institute is one example of how to measure health outcomes and to implement resulting findings in clinical practice. As an integrated care unit, the Institute specializes in orthopedics and is able to control the clinical quality along the care processes of this specific disease state. Watch a video portrait here.
Hoag Orthopedic Institute (HOI) is an integrated care unit. What does that mean?
Reid: You have people who are solely focused on orthopedic care: certified orthopedic nurses, surgical crews that are focused on orthopedics. These are very efficient, because the processes are standardized, costs are standardized, and quality is measured.
What is HOI’s business model?
Reid: Our business model is very unique. We are owned half by Hoag Memorial Hospital, which is a non-profit, faith-based organization, and half owned by physicians, which – in that combination in the USA – creates a for-profit, physician-owned hospital organization. That has been unique in the USA Physicians can no longer own acute care hospitals, and we were one of the last few that were allowed to form.
Measuring outcomes – how does it work and how does it affect your business?
Reid: The process of measuring outcomes is collecting the data and being able to compare that data. We not only publish it to the public, we also use it internally. It is one thing to put the data in front of people, but it is also important that you make the data actionable. We set organizational targets for cost goals in financial performance and quality. And those targets are not only at the top of the organization, but they are also driven throughout the organization to the frontline. So our employees have certain pieces of those goals that they are measured against in their personal performance. And it’s important for us to share best practices. It would be valuable to have common outcome measurements, not only to be able to compare that in the USA but also across nations. And that domestic and international orthopedic centers of excellence come together. Perhaps that synergy can begin to reach more people globally.
What is the advantage for the patients?
Reid: The big advantage for the patients is patient satisfaction. It is almost weekly, sometimes daily, that I receive patient satisfaction letters. I’ve never worked in a place where I receive so many happy patient letters. I really believe that that’s because we have created an integrated care unit that surrounds patients with the best care possible and gets them back to what they enjoy doing.
What is the direct effect for the staff working here?
Reid: The direct effect on employees working here has also been another amazing outcome. We measured employee satisfaction last year for the first time and the scores were exceptionally high. What you find is when you recruit teams of people that are committed to one specialty, they’re able to go to work every day and use the skills that they want to use to provide the best care.
Where do you see yourself with the institution in ten years?
Reid: I could envision in ten years that not only do we continue to be one of the top orthopedic programs in California and in the United States. I hope that we will become part of a global community where we are collaborating with other orthopedic hospitals across the world, other orthopedic surgeons. Perhaps we are training physicians in other countries, with new technology and the end goal would be: We’re providing better care for more people at lower cost and we’re touching more lives throughout the world.