HealthInsight is acutely aware of the challenges health care providers face in improving the quality of care. We work hard with our community partners to advance quality initiatives that sometimes seem to take a step back for every two steps forward. In the midst of our labors, it behooves us to pause now and then to celebrate our successes.
Since 2004, HealthInsight’s Quality Award program has recognized Medicare-certified providers who demonstrate excellent performance on publicly reported quality-of-care measures. We created this program to encourage providers to invest in quality and systems improvement, and to promote transparency in measures of safety, quality and patient experience of care.
Public recognition of top-performing providers not only motivates other providers to improve their performance, but gives consumers information they can use to make choices about their own care. Our awards also tie into the nationwide movement toward paying providers for the quality of care they deliver.
We set high standards for our award recipients. The award criteria for hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies are based in part on our widely followed National Performance Rankings. For each organization across the nation, we calculate a single weighted composite score from a set of publicly reported measures of clinical quality and patient experience. The resulting percentile rankings make the performance data more accessible and transparent to consumers and other stakeholders. Our quality awards go to organizations in our region that rank in high percentiles of national performance or who improve their rankings significantly from the previous year. We use similar criteria to recognize physician offices that can document high performance on nationally benchmarked quality measures, and we award innovation certificates to outpatient practices that have implemented sustainable innovations.
Besides promoting the achievement of national quality goals, the awards program reinforces our own organizational purpose. HealthInsight’s Ends Policies are high-level descriptions of the desired future state of performance and function in the U.S. health and health care systems. These descriptions define our aims and drive our sustained investments of energy and resources in improvement and systems transformation work. The quality award program directly supports the two Ends excerpted below:
- “End 3: High Quality Processes and Outcomes: The health and health care systems’ processes and outcomes embody consistently high quality…Everyone participating in health and health care interventions is continually engaged in learning and self-improvement.
- “End 5: Transparent System: Health outcomes and health care processes and outcomes are transparent; system interventions are information-driven.” (The Institute of Medicine defines a transparent system as one that is “accountable to the public, works openly, makes results known and builds trust through disclosure.”)
We’ve begun rolling out our 2017 award presentations in Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, and are publicizing the awards through local media. To date, we’ve recognized nine nursing homes, seven hospitals and 52 physician offices, and we’ll present more awards (including for home health agencies) later this year.
Awards presented to date in 2017 and previous years are listed on our website.
Please join me in congratulating these exemplary organizations, and in encouraging other providers to continue to invest in and celebrate their own quality achievements.
Photo: The Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital leadership team and quality department show off their 2017 Quality Award.