St. Mary's Health Center
Focus on Core Measures Improves Quality
Under pressure to improve performance on indicators of financial well-being, patient satisfaction, and clinical quality, St. Mary's Health Center leadership made a deliberate decision to focus on Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services process-of-care measures, or "core" measures. They set in motion a series of activities that resulted in striking improvement. The main strategies were: clear communication of the new directive by the hospital's president and Board of Directors; physician-led committees taking responsibility for performance improvement; intensified efforts to standardize clinical processes through order sets; dedicating a full-time staff member to data abstraction and initiating a system of concurrent and post-discharge review of medical charts; continuous measurement and analysis of performance data; providing feedback to staff; and sharing successes, lessons, and tools across hospitals in the health system.
Performance Improvement Strategies
- Hospitals compare their performance with other hospitals in their system, region, or peer group to instigate competition and motivate improvement.
- Display and discuss data throughout the hospital to create transparency and accountability.
- Provide individualized feedback to physicians with scores compared with benchmarks.