IOM Urges 10 Major Healthcare Fixes

Cheryl Clark, September 7, 2012

The report issues 10 recommendations to improve quality of care, and use healthcare resources better. They are:

1. Improve the capacity to capture clinical, care delivery process, and financial data for better care, system improvement and the generation of new knowledge.

To this end, the report says hospitals and clinicians should "employ digital systems that capture patient care experiences reliably" and implement practices and standards for better data interoperability. The federal National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, software developers, and standards organizations should make sure that their systems support better care, system improvement and new knowledge.

2. Streamline and revise research regulations to improve care, promote the capture of clinical data, and generate knowledge.

The report suggests that the Secretary for Health and Human Services, should examine the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and institutional review board policies for any perceived or actual restrictions on the use of clinical data to gain knowledge that advances science and care improvement. Consumer groups, professional societies, researchers and grantmakers should help develop strategies to improve understanding of the benefits and importance of accelerating use of clinical data to improve care and health outcomes.

3. Accelerate integration of the best clinical knowledge into care decisions.

The authors explained that they want research, advocacy, specialty and care delivery organizations to use evidence-based and "harmonized" clinical practice guidelines.

"Public and private payers should promote the adoption of decision support tools, knowledge management systems, and evidence-based clinical practice guidelines by structuring payment and contracting policies to reward effective, evidence-based care that improves patient health," they said.

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