Quality of care…the standard by which we measure a provider, a care team and an organization. But what does that really mean? Diabetes outcomes such A1Cs, foot exams, eye exams or hypertension control, asthma, immunization rates, etc. There are more and more metrics to manage everyday. A study from Tom Bodenheimer once suggested that a primary care physician needs to work 21.5 hours per day to address chronic, acute and preventative needs for a panel of 2500 patients! (by the way, I thank you for taking time to read this blog in your busy day!) We all looked at this data and said obviously we need smaller panels:
1800 patients = 15.5 hours
1200 patients = 10.3 hours
No matter how you slice it, you are looking at a 50 hour plus work week…at a minimum. No wonder it’s hard to be a full-time primary care provider.
So how do you deliver quality of care (the holy grail) without burning out providers and staff? Work smarter! You don’t have time to waste.
To improve quality and drive performance you need to break from the typical approach of providing a run chart to a provider and telling them they need to do better. Have you had this conversation? “Your HTN control rate is at 65% and we need you to get to 75%. Work with your staff to get there.” It’s hard to get engaged, know where to begin or how to work this into your day to day.
Now imagine that same message presented like this: “Your HTN control rate is at 65%. I know you and your team have been working hard on getting your patients in. There are 10 patients in your panel that need to come in and get their meds adjusted to achieve control and get you to the 75% goal. Here is the list of the 10 patients with their contact information and other care gaps that they have. Your support staff is already working on the outreach and are scheduling these patients to come in!” You think to yourself….10 patients? That’s easy to digest and my team knows exactly what to do.
This is what’s possible when applying innovation to population health. Through the use of advanced algorithmic based medicine, protocols and practice specific workflows, I can design an intelligent system that translates high level outcome measures into tangible, action-oriented, bite size chunks of information that teams can process and execute on.
Providing high quality care in a very demanding primary care environment is doable if you are willing to transition into a business intelligent environment that empowers your team and allows the provider to focus on direct patient care.