Quality improvement is an ongoing, measurable process by which healthcare providers achieve higher quality care. Important steps in quality improvement are:
- Provider adherence to evidence-based guidelines and pursuit of clinical quality measures when giving treatment
- Efficient communication among providers about shared patients, so that all are on the same page about a patient’s diagnoses, medications, tests, treatments, etc. and can give the right care at the right time
- Documentation and evaluation of the changes providers make during the quality improvement process
Technology makes quality improvement possible. Electronic health records (EHRs), Direct secure email, and health information exchanges (HIEs) can make it easier to document treatment, communicate between facilities, and follow up with patients. Utah’s Clinical Health Information Exchange (HIE), called the cHIE, includes many crucial functions for quality improvement. The cHIE can:
- Simplify care coordination by enabling providers to securely and efficiently exchange information about shared patients, so that each provider has the information needed to give the best care.
- Improve documentation by allowing providers to incorporate community-sourced patient information into their own EHR records, forming a more complete picture of a patient’s health.
- Help providers reduce hospital and emergency department admissions. The cHIE includes cHIE Alerts, which notify providers in real-time when their patients are admitted to a hospital or emergency department. The provider can then offer appropriate follow-up care to decrease the risk of readmission and the associated negative health outcomes and higher costs.
- Allow providers to better supervise patients who have chronic conditions. The cHIE includes analytics functionality that lets providers monitor specific indicators for cohorts of patients with a particular condition and identify when interventions are needed.
- Support shared savings payment/pay-for-performance arrangements, which reward higher quality care by paying providers a percentage of the savings they achieve for a payer.
For more information about how the cHIE supports quality improvement, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.