For years, healthcare’s financial incentive framework has been based on a fee-for-service model. This means that providers and hospitals are paid based on the number of healthcare services they provide. A higher volume of tests or procedures results in greater payments to the entities that provide them. The seemingly important element that is left out of this equation is whether the patient, who is being subjected to these tests and procedures, is experiencing improved health.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines Quality Improvement (QI) as systematic and continuous actions that lead to measurable improvement in health care services and the health status of targeted patient groups.
While procedures and systems are necessary to ensure continuity, equally important is the measurement of actions and patient health status, which require data not only to establish a baseline but also to continuously track, monitor and measure progress toward QI goals.
Despite massive adoption of electronic medical records over the past several years, the promise of easy and nearly effortless chart abstraction from electronic medical records enabled by an interconnected web of interoperable EMRs sharing standardized data has yet to be fully realized. You need to look no further than the media tab to see the evidence that we have yet to arrive at this Utopian future.