NorthShore University Health System
Achieving Rapid Improvement on Core Measures
In 2007, NorthShore University Health System achieved 97 percent compliance with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) process-of-care measures, a 12-point increase from just one year before. With high-level endorsement, NorthShore pursued the following improvement strategies: a system-wide staff education initiative led by the quality department, including the essential engagement of medical staff, pharmacists, and nurses; promoting physician buy-in by encouraging them to contact CMS with questions about the care standards; use of an electronic health record (EHR) system as a tool in education, care management, and performance tracking; and use of real-time data for concurrent review of patient care, made possible by exporting data from the EHR.
Performance Improvement Strategies
- Physicians address questions about the quality measures and receive responses directly from CMS through the QualityNet Web site.
- Designated discharge care managers focus on getting each patient the correct discharge instructions and follow-up appointments.
- Pharmacists review prescribing decisions throughout patients' hospitalizations to address problems or deviations from standards directly with doctors.