With the ability to electronically monitor Well
Child Visits, Chronic
Condition Management programs and Integrated
Models, quality management in a Pediatric setting has
a much larger scope than just Patient Satisfaction. Looking
in-depth at your practice's aggregate information, and with the
ability to drill down to individual providers, you have the
information you need to better manage your practice and drive
Contrary to the typical phone interview Patient Satisfaction
programs, Patient Tools advocates real-time Patient Satisfaction
where the patient is interviewed at the time of service (better
information), there are large enough samples to reliably measure
individual providers (providers generally are sued over how
they treat their patients, rather than their competence) and
the practice is able to respond to the information within minutes (email about critical
problems), hours, a day or a week, rather than months after
the fact. Patient Satisfaction is most useful when used
to drive process rather than just being used as an annual
Typically Patient Safety is considered to be a hospital
related issue, however Pediatricians need to be vigilant.
Infections and prescription issues are concerns as well as
less obvious issues. For example, a local hospital's Emergency
Department director examined admission injury types and found
suicide attempts were the #1 admission. In a study at UT Southwestern,
it was shown that ED clinicians missed 94% of patients with
suicidal ideation and 80.6% of patients with a suicidal plan.
With feedback from automated patient reported screenings,
the missed patients with suicidal ideation dropped to 26.9%
and the missed patients with a suicidal plan dropped to 0.0%.
Also 2.0% of the ED patients had a suicidal plan. 80.6% of
2.0% of all ED patients extrapolated across the US, is a large
number of preventable medical errors.
The prevalence of suicidal plans found in older teens is a significant
portion of that of the ED, and assuming Pediatricians are
comparable to ED clinicians (you could argue ED clinicians
are actually more aware since they see more of it), you can
extrapolate some rather large numbers, (many tens of thousands)
of teens with a suicidal plan that Pediatricians miss each
year in the US. Off the radar, but a huge problem that
automated screening would help correct.
Measuring quality through Patient Safety, Patient Satisfaction, Well Child Visits, Chronic Condition Management or Integrated Models, if done cost-effectively (e.g. self-report automated screening), will benefit your practice. First, higher quality supports Pay-for-Performance. As Pay-for-Performance evolves, measuring and implementing quality initiatives makes your practice run better and transparency will give your practice a competitive advantage. Second, manufacturers have learned, if done properly, as quality goes up, cost is driven down (lower liability, higher throughput, etc). Demand for quality will become, if it is not already, a central theme for your practice's management.
Please Contact Us to learn
more or discuss how Quality Management capabilities will work
in your setting.