How technology eases regulatory burdens, helps providers work smarter, and improves clinical quality.
This article first appeared in the October 2016 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
Clinical quality measures that are being scrutinized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and The Joint Commission are driving providers to work smarter, not just harder, to meet ever-increasing regulatory burdens, and technology is playing its part.
Those regulatory burdens also include reporting data breaches, a category recently clarified by CMS to include ransomware attacks; meaningful use stage 3, which takes effect for some healthcare systems in 2017 and others in 2018; and the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), which is also scheduled to commence in 2017 and is CMS' main vehicle for moving healthcare from volume-based to value-based reimbursement.
At Halifax Health, whose main 678-bed medical center is based in Daytona Beach, Florida, director of quality improvement Suzanne Lovelady has turned to technology to automate manual paper rounding, as well as to meet Joint Commission survey readiness objectives.
"We are definitely measuring more," Lovelady says. "When I first went into quality improvement 15 years ago, I could count on one hand the projects that were ongoing. Now it fills up a couple of whiteboards. So the number of projects has grown, and also the scope of those projects is much greater."
Key drivers of these quality reports include patient safety and outcomes. Halifax Health replaced paper-based written observations with software from ReadyPoint to speed preparation of these observation findings and facilitate dissemination of these among its staff through a system replacing numerous, time-consuming meetings or face-to-face conversations.
Scott Mace is the former senior technology editor for HealthLeaders Media. He is now the senior editor, custom content at H3.Group.