In Healthcare Quality Management, Knowledge is Power. . . . But How Much?

Warren Buffett once said, “Risk is not knowing what you’re doing.” In healthcare this could be adjusted to say, “Risk is not understanding your status quo.” In order to know where they stand in comparison to regulations and other hospitals, providers use quality management products to identify their greatest risks/deficits and then act on that information.

In KLAS’ latest quality management report, we spoke with providers about the vendors they are using to help identify and eliminate risk, do benchmark comparisons, and accomplish regulatory reporting. In addition to discovering how 12 different vendors performed in these three areas of quality management, KLAS also asked how effective these firms are in improving quality of care.

KLAS Image: Quality Management Vendor Impact on Patient Care

An interesting dichotomy appeared among provider responses: there were those who feel that their product has at least some impact on patient care and those who feel that their product is simply a reporting device and that the onus to make any real change rests with the provider. This is demonstrated in the following provider quotes (which are featured in the report):

“[Our vendor] has improved quality of patient care by allowing us to handle more people at once in the follow-up, assign things to different people from an initial event, and enter feedback from those who were accountable for the process improvement. It has been very helpful to have all of that in one place, know everything is secure, and then be able to pull that data out and present it.”

“We have found that [our vendor] is better at monitoring performance than really helping in quality management. They do a better job of helping us make decisions. [The product] does what we need it to do very well, but it is not having a dramatic effect on patient care.”

Do you feel your quality management product impacts the quality of care at your organization, or does it simply provide knowledge about the state of your affairs? Does that knowledge empower you to make real change, or is it just another function? Let me know what you think, and be sure to check out what others said in our new report, “Quality Management 2014: The Race Gets Closer.”

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