Researchers have developed a more effective and reliable way for patients to provide narrative feedback about the care they receive. When the right questions are asked, patients' answers can help health care providers better understand the patient experience and learn how they could improve.
While monetary incentives and behavioral nudges both have their strengths, neither is enough to reliably change clinician behavior and improve quality of care. Organizational culture provides another important lens to understand why clinicians are practicing in a certain way and to put forth more comprehensive, long-term solutions.
In the 1970s, it was assumed that new physicians wouldn't set up practice in America's small towns. RAND economists used software originally designed to estimate damages from a nuclear bomb to calculate the effects of placing doctors in specific locations.
Involving the medical community in helping to measure and increase tolerance could help make individuals and communities healthier. Since hate is both deadly and contagious, now is the time to engage the medical profession in eradicating it.
Implementation of electronic prescribing has been a big success in health information technology. But most e-prescribing systems don't allow electronic cancellation of orders. Adding this feature could help reduce medication errors.
The VA is considering expanding the role of nurse practitioners in order to provide veterans timely access to primary-care services. Research has shown that nurse practitioners working in collaborative settings can provide high-quality care.
Shifting health care from hospitals to the community will only be justified if patient satisfaction and convenience is valued above costs to the NHS, or if this shift reduces health care costs in the long term.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Perspectives on Safety
Health system leaders should view regular and detailed assessment of physician professional satisfaction as an invaluable early warning system for potential threats to quality and safety. But simply surveying doctors on their overall levels of job satisfaction isn't enough.
There is no tradeoff between recognizing the serious methodological problems in the ProPublica Surgeon Scorecard, improving the Scorecard, and encouraging providers to release their own data. All three can and should be done simultaneously.
Before we allow others to implement policies attempting to optimize the use of physician time or reduce the amount of equivocal or inappropriate care, we need to understand what physicians think about these issues and what they are prepared to do about them, writes Robert H. Brook.
Pay for performance, transparency, and other innovative ways of compensating physicians will work only if, at the same time, the system for providing care is changed to one that has clear objectives and provides specific tools to help physicians achieve those objectives, writes Robert H. Brook.