How Healthcare Quality has Improved the Business Strategy?

Supriya Saxena

Supriya Saxena

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: April 19, 2021

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We all know that providing good quality healthcare always tops the list of moral values of any healthcare organization. However, did you know that healthcare quality is also an extremely powerful business strategy that hugely reflects on the performance system of the organization?

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Despite years of effort, hardly any progress has been made in the healthcare sector in terms of bridging the gap between healthcare quality and cost. It’s time to shift to a new approach and use quality as an effective business strategy. 

Some common problems are faced by most businesses in the healthcare sector. These problems cause a huge financial drain for the companies. Moreover, they also get in the way of improving the healthcare quality provided to patients.

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However, by implementing our new strategy to use quality as a business strategy, we can easily find a solution to all these problems. Let us discuss some of them.

1. Minimizing Healthcare Delivery Waste

Healthcare delivery waste refers to those resources that do not produce any significant optimal results when used in the treatment of a patient. A major contributor to healthcare waste is inappropriate care. In such cases, the risk of damage or failure of a procedure is much higher than the chance of its success. 

This type of healthcare waste not only increases the cost of treatment but also reduces the quality of care provided. We need to do away with the idea that getting the patient to pay for these resources covers up the cost for the business. It’s not just about the cost of the resources, but more importantly about the reputation system of the organization and the wastage of said resources.

Waste can occur in several forms. It can be the cost of recovering from a preventable mistake, stocking useless products, providing inappropriate or unnecessary treatments, or outright carelessness and wastage of resources.

healthcare-spending

Studies by JAMA Network have shown that before the COVID-19 pandemic when everything was normal, approximately 30% of the amount spent on healthcare in the U.S. could be considered waste. Thus, focusing on healthcare quality and minimizing waste is by far the biggest financial services that the healthcare sector has today. 

2. Shifting to a team-based care approach 

A team-based care approach is a huge step forward in the direction of improving healthcare quality. It is centered around the needs and wants of the patient. It is building a customized team of medical professionals and other required staff according to the treatment needed by the patient.

This approach towards patient care acknowledges that a team of professionals in various fields is required for the all-around care of a patient. Members of a care team include doctors, nurses, assistants, specialists, and other non-medical staff as per the requirement of the patient. 

According to the National Academy of Medicine, “A team-based care model strives to meet patient needs and preferences by actively engaging patients as full participants in their care while encouraging all healthcare professionals to function to the full extent of their education, certification, and experience.”

This approach was closely studied and the results showed that the team-based care approach improved healthcare quality while reducing costs for businesses. For every $1 that the business spent, they earned back $5 in this approach. All in all, a lot of money was saved by reducing hospital visits, unnecessary specialty treatments, etc. 

team-based-organization

3. Bundled payments for care cycles

There are two major payment modes in the healthcare sector today – global capitation and fee for service. However, no payment model promotes or rewards improved healthcare quality.

The best payment mode that will promote healthcare quality is bundled payment. A payment bundle could include the complete payment system for the treatment of a severe medical condition or payment for chronic disease for a specific period (say, 2 years). The bundle will be designed as per the requirements of the patient.

In this way, payment is linked directly with the care provided, giving the medical team a chance to control the utilization of this money. Bundled payments should also include care guarantees which hold the organization responsible for any unnecessary expenditure or avoidable complications leading to rehospitalization.

 

design-elements

Bundled payments are already in place for a variety of medical treatments including joint replacement and organ transplant. All those employing this payment method have reported lower treatment costs, improved healthcare quality, and increased satisfaction of the patients. 

4. Proper integration of care delivery systems

The healthcare sector today is dominated by multisite healthcare facilities. However, these multi site facilities are not the well-integrated care units we want them to be. Instead, they are simply a combination of various stand-alone care units somehow put together.

The problem with such healthcare units is that care is more often than not duplicated and fragmented. The healthcare sector today has a huge opportunity to break up these multi site facilities into smaller care units and bring about a financial revolution.

To build true care delivery systems, these organizations need to build more concentrated care units whose scope of service is clearly defined. Moreover, the focus should be on building a few quality establishments, rather than hundreds of facilities with hardly any resources to provide good quality healthcare. 

Next, the services should be allocated wisely. Less complex and more routine services should be offered at lower-cost facilities while complex treatments should be performed at a separate unit. This will enable the common people to better avail of routine services. Also, this will help the business hire staff according to the skillset required, utilize their resources better, and save a lot of money.

Lastly, all these care units should be integrated to improve the healthcare quality provided to patients. Patients should be able to get treated across all care units, without having to repeat any procedure or tests previously performed in some other unit.

5. Summing up

“As a leader in healthcare quality, I know first-hand the value of leveraging quality as a business strategy. I’ve worked with countless individuals and together we’ve made patient care better and saved millions of dollars.

There is no question, a vital component of leveraging quality as a business strategy in the health care workforce that is ready to deliver on value”, in the words of Carole Guinane, RN, BA, MBA, CPHQ, President of the NAHQ Board of Directors.

The key to success in this sector is driving change centered around clinical quality and putting the needs of the patient first. We need to build a culture around clinical quality in the healthcare sector which is inclusive of doctors, nurses, medical staff, and even patients.

The care delivery system in the healthcare sector is rapidly changing with an increasing focus on healthcare quality. The good news is that healthcare quality can become the biggest ally for your healthcare organization if you implement it correctly!

Supriya Saxena
A logophile by heart, Supriya loves to research and write about the latest technology and trends. She believes that writing is the best medium to influence people in a positive way and has 3+ years of writing experience.

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