Health care practices and health care organizations should realize that their survival in the future marketplace depends on process improvement and the development of meaningful care process models, according to Jay T. Bishoff, MD.
At the LUGPA annual meeting in Chicago, Dr. Bishoff explained the importance of these projects for improving outcomes and lowering costs, and he outlined strategies for their creation.
Process improvement is important for several reasons, said Dr. Bishoff, of Intermountain Healthcare Urological Institute and the University of Utah College of Medicine, Salt Lake City. First, as health care dollars continue to be stretched, there is a need to figure out the best ways to deliver care. In addition, process improvement protocols are the foundation for delivering the best patient care and will be key to avoiding penalties for failing to meet performance measures.
“Urology practices or organizations that don’t work on process improvement will find themselves being penalized for having higher-than-expected rates for such things as catheter-associated urinary tract infections, postoperative wound infections, or other events that we are likely to be measured against in the future,” Dr. Bishoff said.
A care process model, according to Intermountain’s website, “summarizes clinical literature and provides expert advice regarding the diagnosis and management of certain diseases,” which are often chronic conditions.
“Care process models are important,” Dr. Bishoff said, “because they truly represent the way to deliver the best health care most efficiently to the populations we serve. They represent a way to decrease variation and waste, and thereby they lead to improved outcomes and significant cost reductions.”