It’s Not About The Box Improving Care at Group Health with People, Process and Technology

March 25, 2011

Innovating through Engagement

Filed under: Uncategorized — Matt Handley @ 1:31 pm

What is possible when we have engagement – within the clinical team and with patients?   At the Group Health “Innovating Through Engagement” conference, stories are being told that suggest that the answer is – most anything.

The day focuses conversations on a few innovations that Group Health has been successful with.  Those of us who have been involved in them tend to see them as yesterday’s news – we forget how unusual and special these efforts have been, and how much our patients and the organization have benefited from them.

The Patient Centered Medical Home (Health affairs article summarizing the 2 year outcomes  health affairs ghc medical home )  what happened there – better care, happier patients, more engaged staff and lower costs.

EDHI – comprehensive strategy to reduce both hospitalizations and readmissions – resulting in benchmark performance on hospital days

Shared Decision Making for Preference Sensitive conditions  (older posts about this one, my favorite, here and here )  We now have the largest implementation of video decision aids in the country, leading to better care, happier patients and lower costs

Improving the Value of High End Imaging  (older posts here and here ) – same story – better care and lower costs (for the last 4 months the rate of ordering of CT and MRI by GH Physicians was reduced from baseline by 26%, and that baseline was already lower than the community.

My favorite themes for all of this work?  First – avoiding the cost of poor quality.  There is a lot of skepticism about the impact of improved quality on costs – some believing that underuse of expensive interventions is the main quality gap.  If we focus on value we see that first time quality and involving patient values in care decisions can lead to both better care and lower costs.

Second – Group Health staff are remarkable, and we work in what is essentially an incubator for innovation.  And it is innovation for patients’ sake, rather than just toying around with the next cool thing.  For any innovation to matter, it has to scale and be integrated into a larger story.  that takes both flexibility and standardization, two things that are easily seen as opposing values.  But it can work.

It is good to be us!

Powered by WordPress