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For more than a decade, Via Christi has sponsored a variety of initiatives designed to improve the quality of care provided. These efforts have engaged staff, patients and physicians at all levels within the hospital to measure and improve the quality and safety of patient care. At times these initiatives have seen success and failures, but with the recent push for our “big aim” quality is the major focus. The physicians, nurses, other clinicians and administrative leaders overwhelmingly agreed that Via Christi should adopt the goal of reducing serious safety events by 80 percent over the next three years.
Performance Measurement and Quality Improvement Performance measurement is known as the collecting and analysis of data to determine how an organization will reach its potential (The Joint Commission, 2013). Often this type of analysis is seen in engineering, with the recent push in Via Christi, Lean design and Six Sigma black belts have joined the team in quality. A good example of performance measurement is through The Joint Commission. They have outlined a set of performance development methodology that is considered the “gold standard” in health care today.
By meeting these measure hospitals can function at an optimal level regarding quality care. “Quality improvement consists of systematic and continuous actions that lead to measurable improvement in health care services and the health status of targeted patient groups” (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2013). It would be hard to not have quality improvement and not have some type of performance measurement to guide the work. Therefore, you need quality improvement to have some type of quality measurement.
Via Christi’s Mission, Services, Goals Via Christi provides a wide range of services for the community, from rehab to acute care, with a new dedicated focus on long-term care. The mission of Via Christi is derived from the Sister of the Sorrowful Mother and the Sisters of St. Francis and reads as “Inspired by the Gospel and our Catholic tradition, we serve as a healing presence with special concern for our neighbors who are vulnerable” (Via Christi Hospitals, 2012). At this time Via Christi is embarking on a journey of “big aim”, which means decreasing serious safety events by eighty percent in three years.
An example of how the hospital specifically will tackle this goal is with the work of our central line committee, which is comprised of nursing, Six Sigma black belt engineers, and physicians. This team is reviewing current process and implementing new concepts. Role of Consumers and Quality Indicators The role of patient, families, and friends is one of active engagement with Via Christi. As Via Christi launches into its “big aim” campaign there is a need for these individuals to help lead the changes through active participation.
An example of this type of engagement is how a patient’s son perceived the care of his mother during a hospital stay. The son later contacted the unit manager and offered some feedback regarding the stay, as the unit manager listened she realized that the family had some valid points, such as the long time diabetic mother being allowed to do her own blood sampling and peritoneal dialysis treatments as she was use to at home. So often we take over for the patient in the name of policy, when we could have the patient as an active participant.
Some of the external resources available to our community regarding quality indicators would be with The Leap Frog Group. Leap Frog follows quality indicators for hospitals and then issues a grade related to findings. Some of the specific quality indicators for Via Christi are related to central line infection rates, foreign bodies left after surgery and respiratory failure after a surgical procedure. Consumers can access this sight to obtain the information and then ask questions related to findings.
This information helps the consumer to be more participative and informed. Feedback Used to Improve Quality At Via Christi, they are just starting to incorporate the consumer into the equation on quality care. The Clinical Practice Council has been formed with all of the various stakeholders to provide the feedback necessary on quality care. The group of physicians, nurses, hospital administrators, and consumers work to review core measures and clinical findings. This group will then make recommendation on how to help move the organization forward.
The hospital is working towards being a high reliability organization, through high quality outcomes and patient satisfaction. Conclusion Via Christi serves a wide range of individuals from all generations. As this organization moves forward toward their “big aim” project of reducing the serious safety events by 80 percent in three years, the consumer will be at the helm helping to guide the decision with feedback, by active participation in councils and satisfaction surveys. All of this work will lead to high quality care being provided to all.