Let’s take a step back for a moment to see the trend in performance measurement in healthcare. Most quality measurements on the clinical side of healthcare deal with the inputs to care. For instance, HEDIS measures such as weight assessment and counseling for nutrition and physical activity for children and adolescents, well-child exams, childhood immunizations, breast cancer screening, cholesterol management for patients with cardiovascular condition, etc. measure the actions taken by healthcare providers to improve health. Joint Commission measures also evaluate the inputs leading to healthy outcomes. Readmission rates are an example of measurements of the results of those actions in terms of whether the inputs worked the first time. Analysis of these results will lead to further analysis of the inputs that led to a readmission, or better yet, to the inputs that prevented a readmission.
This means that clinical performance measurement will come full circle. In doing so, clinical performance measurement will mirror financial performance measurement. No business would have its financial analysts measure investments or operational activity without evaluating them in terms of the results on the bottom line. Nor would that business simply report the financial results without a thorough analysis of the causes for those results. We take this for granted in financial management. We will now be seeing more of this cause and effect analysis in clinical performance management as well.
Interesting post by Scott Wanless in B-Eye Network.