Despite two decades of effort - targeting care processes, outcomes, and most recently the value of care - progress has been slow in closing the gap between quality and cost in the US healthcare system. It's time for a new approach focusing on healthcare quality as a business strategy, according to a special issue of the Journal for Healthcare Quality (JHQ) , the peer-reviewed journal of the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ). The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.
Commissioned by NAHQ, the special issue shares insights from healthcare organizations leading the way toward a focus on quality as a business strategy. "For the past 20 years, the health care industry has improved and innovated, but it hasn't come far enough or fast enough.," commented Stephanie Mercado, CAE, CEO of the National Association for Healthcare Quality. "As you can see from the papers published in this issue, when quality is leveraged as a business strategy and the people doing the work have the competencies to deliver on quality and safety, we can accelerate our progress and achieve real improvement." Quality as a business strategy for improving healthcare: Six innovative approaches
The special issue was assembled by Guest Editors Cathy E. Duquette, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, CPHQ, FNAHQ, and Nidia S. Williams, PhD, MBB, CPHQ, FNAHQ. It presents six invited papers illustrating the wide range of programs being implemented by interprofessional teams across the health continuum to improve the quality of care:
Improving Documentation for Stroke Patients. At Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, Randi Toumbs, DNP, RN, MS, AGACNP-BC, and colleagues used standardized templates and trainee education to increase the accuracy of clinical documentation for stroke care. In addition to improving performance on stroke metrics, the program improved case mix index and expected length of stay - two factors with ad impact on reimbursement.
Assessing Costs of Pressure Injury. Shea Polancich, PhD, RN, of University of Alabama at Birmingham and colleagues tested a method to estimate the costs of hospital-acquired pressure injuries: a common and preventable complication. Despite challenges, the pilot study suggested that assessing the costs of adverse events can help in validating the return on investment efforts to improve the quality of care. Related Stories
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