As payers, patients, governments and regulators demand to know more about care delivery and quality, providers are seeking reliable and meaningful metrics. Many healthcare leaders perceive a disconnect between the internal drive for excellence and external requests for measurement and assurance, viewing the latter as unnecessary administration. In the quest to become high reliability organizations, a greater focus on care outcomes can help providers to align these two tasks by reducing complexity and increasing transparency to the benefit of all stakeholders.
“Regulation is much too important to leave to the regulators.”
Niall Dickson, Chief Executive and Registrar, General Medical Council, UK
The one exception to this call for a shift towards outcome measures is safety. Although measurement enhances safety, measuring the successful avoidance of catastrophic events such as wrong-side surgery, complications and medication errors is not a feasible way towards assurance. In common with other high-risk industries, certification is often the preferred way forward, coupled with careful oversight and engaged clinicians.