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Should we measure outcomes or compliance?

An interesting discussion surfaced during an executive session client panel at Allscripts Client Experience (ACE), our annual user group meeting:  Should we measure outcomes or compliance?

Of course, the ultimate goal is to improve clinical and financial outcomes. Healthcare organizations want to know that they’re delivering the best quality care for the lowest possible cost. But is measuring the outcomes themselves the fastest way to improvement?

How MediSync achieved nationally recognized chronic disease outcomes

One of the panelists was Charlie Hardtke, chief operating officer at management services organization MediSync (Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.). MediSync uses Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR and Allscripts Practice Management™ to help its medical practices earn national recognition for chronic disease management. The story is the subject of a new case study.

Hardtke stressed the importance of engaging clinicians to define outcomes and processes, based on patient data and analytics. Some physicians were concerned about setting targets for clinical outcomes, because of the many variables that are outside a caregiver’s control.

“The key to engaging our physicians was to focus on measuring compliance with evidence-based processes instead of outcomes,” he said. “If we didn’t produce the outcome we wanted, we could change the process…It removed the concerns and compliance skyrocketed.”

At ACE, clients engaged in interesting discussions with Executive Session panelists (from left to right) Johan Waktare, CCIO, Liverpool Heart and Chest; Pam Shedd, Clinical System Manager, Springhill Medical Center; Charlie Hardtke, COO, MediSync; Rich Berner, General Manager, Allscripts International and Sunrise. (not pictured: Gareth Thomas, CCIO, Salford Royal)

If the process is well-designed, improved outcomes will follow. For example, by following data-driven processes MediSync helped one practice achieve evidence-based standards for 92% of its hypertension patients, compared with just 40% before the initiative. It has achieved similar results for other chronic diseases, such as pediatric asthma and diabetes. Commitment to quality processes has also enabled a payment collection rate of 99.2%.

“It’s a journey that takes many years,” Hardtke said. “You need to involve all your physicians to drive success and keep the momentum going.”

To learn more about MediSync’s journey with chronic disease management, download this free case study.

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