Measuring and assessing quality
Quality must be reported on a systematic basis in order to be worthwhile. For each treatment, the most relevant outcome should be pinpointed, in order to assess the value of the treatment for the patient. Capio divides the outcomes into three main groups: the clinical reported outcome (CROM), the patient reported outcome (PROM), and the patient reported experience (PREM), see the figure to the right. Examples of clinical reported outcomes are the frequency of complications, the time to recover after the procedure and the measurable control of the disease, while improvements in function and quality of life after treatment are examples of patient reported outcomes. How care is experienced ultimately depends on the medical outcome and how much pain, discomfort and tiredness the treatment causes, but is also to a great extent affected by how we provide information and our kind treatment. The care environment also has an impact. It must be possible to measure each of the three main groups of outcomes. These measurements are called Quality Performance Indicators (QPIs).
Continuous quality work leads to improvements
Our results do not improve automatically. Improvements require determined, systematic initiatives. Our continuous improvement work entails developing our care processes so as to improve results. By understanding the care process and its significance to the results, we can focus on the most urgent needs for improvement. It is important to set up measurable goals, process targets, for the day-to-day work, in order to follow up on whether the care processes are developing in accordance with our targets. This is all summarized in a quality plan, or quality budget. A quality plan includes concrete activities to improve working methods that we consider significant for the quality indicators we wish to influence. These activities must be measurable, with allocated resources, and for each activity there must be a person responsible for achieving the improvement within a stated time.
Key figures for the right production, resources and productivity
Our key performance indicators (KPIs) help us to set goals and measure and improve our production, our productivity and the resources we devote to providing healthcare. These non-financial indicators are nonetheless clearly linked to the financial results of various healthcare inputs. Productivity KPIs give an understanding of how we use our employees and material and physical resources and some central KPIs are: average length of stay, utilization of operating theaters and wards, number of patient visits per doctor and nurse, and number of patients per care team.
On planning our resources, and patient flows in operating theaters and wards, our starting point is the highest care quality requirements. By setting clear targets for various activities, we can measure and follow up on results and understand the financial outcomes of various care inputs. This provides a basis to work with continuous improvement in production planning, working methods and how we best use our healthcare personnel, so as to be able to give as many patients as possible the healthcare they require.