Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
CEO Minute: Our Quest for Quality

CEO Minute: Our Quest for Quality

CEO Minute: Our Quest for Quality- image0The topic of improving quality in health care is in the media all the time. Pick up a newspaper, tune in to a newscast or do a quick search on the Internet and, in any of these places, you will find the subject being discussed. Not only are people talking about quality — they are trying to measure it, report on it, and, most importantly, assure more of it. It is almost an obsession with some, and that is probably a good thing — who can be against improving the quality of health care?  But, is it like the old expression, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it?”

Some people are trying to do something about it. Dr. Craig Bradley and the Clinical Transformation COPIC (formerly known as Quality COPIC) have big plans for changing things in our practice with the goal of improving quality. This is not to say there is a quality deficit today; rather, it is adopting a spirit of continuous improvement and recognizing things can always be done better. Visit the Cleveland Clinic or the Mayo Clinic and I guarantee you they are trying to improve things there — it is the hallmark of a great organization. I think the Clinical Transformation COPIC, given sufficient time, will produce results.

Several recent articles indicate certain hospitals and providers across the nation have found ways to improve outcomes and save money. We work with all of the hospitals in West Texas with which we are affiliated on quality improvement; but, UMC Health System is top of mind these days because they specifically asked us to work with them to achieve certain quality goals, and we are glad to do so.

Moreover, we have established numerous targets in our own clinics.  We have made a commitment to quality. A number of physicians have been recruited to be on the COPIC, assisted by such capable people as Jennifer Vierkant, R.N. M.S.N., M.B.A., and Ahnna Parker, R.N., C., M.S.N., C.I.C. Others will join the effort. I think this team will do great things.  What is it again they are trying to do? Clinical transformation?

Yes. And, clinical transformation has been variously defined. But to me, it is synthesizing clinical outcomes, financial performance, patient satisfaction and clinic/hospital operations together to measurably improve all aspects of care. Electronic health records are an essential part of clinical transformation — along with the alignment of people and processes.

If it sounds a lot like all of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in one package — I think you have the idea.