- Make quality permanent. The panelists made the point that we need to create a culture around quality, even setting quality as the foundation. I'd ask you to think about what you do to help make quality a key theme within your organization? What tools do you use to help keep your quality meetings timely and focused? Establishing a “rhythm” and an expected, repeatable approach to reviewing measures and the status of initiatives helps keep the quality message at the forefront.
- Seek the right outcomes. The panelists talked about getting to the core of the measures that make a difference. At ActiveStrategy, we often describe this as identifying the “lagging vs. leading” measures. Does your organization report on “everything” – only to find that little to no gains are made over time? Focusing on the right set of metrics is a big key; it takes some work and targeted facilitation, but the impact is well worth the effort.
- Include a broad community. Here the panel was stressing the point of focusing not only on the outcomes of procedures, but also on the outcomes of the communities being served. Again, I think the question from a performance management standpoint is: do you have the right metrics? Do your measures capture the impact you have (or wish to make) on both short term and long term outcomes? Collaborative measures may also be appropriate for joint efforts in areas like childhood obesity prevention or rural health programming.
- Use technology to support, not drive, improvement. The panelists urged the attendees to beware of making technology a solution in itself. As you well know, with any implementation of technology, it’s the “meaningful use” of that tool or system that will help drive and sustain change.
- Get ready for integration. The panel suggested that while new models like medical homes and accountable care organizations show promise, healthcare leaders need to continue pursuing innovation and new solutions.
When a Balanced Scorecard performance management framework is cascaded and deployed, it supports these approaches perfectly. It helps an organization focus on quality in a broad, outcome-based, collaborative, and integrated way -- making the quality message and the quality culture “stick.”
Have you come up with strategies to make quality a key, enduring theme? Let me know in the comments!