Clinical Process Measurement

patrick-yoder-pharmdBy Patrick Yoder, PharmD, Co-founder and CEO of LogicStream Health
Twitter: @Logic_Stream
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Validating the Impact of Clinical Processes to Become a Highly Reliable Organization

Quality improvement is not a process that has a beginning or end. It is a crucial component to become a Highly Reliable Organization (HRO). Effectively tackling quality improvement requires a sustainable and scalable way to standardize, monitor and ultimately drive adoption, which improves clinical processes across the entire enterprise.

By facilitating new ways to measure clinician workflows, Clinical Process Measurement (CPM) drives a deeper understanding of the impact those processes have on outcomes and how they propel highly reliable healthcare. Clinical Process Measurement helps improve patient outcomes and reduce costs by fully capitalizing on standardized clinical process. It accurately measures clinical care processes to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact they have on patient care. Finally, CPM delivers a sustainable and scalable approach to quality improvement that historically has been out of reach for most healthcare organizations.

Leveraging clinical and information technology, process improvement, informatics, care standardization, and data analytics creates true CPM to bridge the gap between clinical and technical teams. With CPM, health systems have self-service access to the real-time data hospital leadership needs to make intelligent improvements to clinical workflows. It provides information-starved medical directors, nursing managers, and other clinical leaders with a streamlined approach for rapidly identifying and correcting problems. With CPM, leadership can make accurate, data-driven adjustments to improve workflow and compliance on the fly.

The reality is that it’s difficult to manage what you cannot measure. Currently, outcomes are the only measure health systems rely on to determine if clinical quality improvement initiatives are having the desired effect. This lagging indicator cannot support improvement on issues such as hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) or 30-day readmission. Worse, outcomes don’t identify the clinical processes that can negatively affect standardization from unnecessary care variation. Consequently, health systems are forced to adjust their processes retroactively after a “wait and see” approach, putting compliance and patient care at risk. They have no way to measure clinician workflow adoption and the use of clinical content, resulting in an inability to determine how to improve outcomes until after the fact. By then it’s too late to prevent being hit with significant financial penalties under initiatives like the Medicare HAC Reduction Program or the CMS Readmission Reduction Program.

Below are examples of leading healthcare organizations realizing the significant advantages of deploying cloud-based CPM solutions.

  • Carilion Clinic applied LogicStream’s solution to monitor and measure the impact of clinical process on VTE and CAUTI rates so they could standardize processes to ensure optimal outcomes. The result was a reduction in care variation and reduced costs related to HACs.
  • Tampa General Hospital (TGH) utilizes the LogicStream CPM solutions to achieve quality governance that is scalable and repeatable. One of TGH’s first initiatives was to understand and improve sepsis bundle compliance. Clinical Process Measurement enabled identification of the patient population most at-risk for sepsis by pulling information from the EHR and analyzing it to find patterns and anomalies. It also monitors blood cultures, antibiotic administration, and fluids in the at-risk population to identify instances of non-compliance, all while measuring the compliance and effectiveness of the resulting educational efforts.