It’s the beginning of a new year, and in 2018 the healthcare industry would greatly benefit from better utilization of resources. U.S. health care spending grew 4.3 percent in 2016, reaching $3.3 trillion, while an estimated $1 trillion is wasted each year on inefficiencies, redundancies and abuse. With an aging population, and chronic illnesses and obesity on the rise, emergency department staff will continue to be flooded with patients, while hospitals work to comply with new CMS mandates and rulings, and improve quality of patient care.
Hospitals are constantly working to increase productivity and reduce expenditures, while statistics continue to remind us that time is money. In 2017, EY conducted an advisory study of the healthcare industry, and after analyzing the data, suggested a holistic approach to reducing inefficiencies and improving quality of care. Of the five points presented, we’ll focus on the three areas where our ActionCue CI platform can make a significant impact for healthcare organizations in 2018: transforming the culture, advancing with analytic insights, and increasing productivity
Transforming the Culture
In 2017, we presented a four-part series on innovation and the role of leadership in creating action that improves patient safety and quality. A recurring theme in the series, and a concept we work to continuously promote, is creating a “culture of quality.” Improving culture is the first step towards improving patient safety and reducing inefficiency, and it must begin at the top. Organizational leadership must be deeply involved and aware of the challenges clinical staff face daily. Executive engagement is crucial to improving overall culture, but it’s no secret that executives face substantial time constraints. According to Becker’s Hospital Review, the average CEO spends about 2.5 hours per day in meetings, and 21.2% of a CEO’s solitary workday is devoted to reading and analyzing reports.
ActionCue CI allows staff to create comprehensive, easy-to-read reports in minutes, not days, providing real-time access to insights and performance measures while reducing time spent in meetings or analyzing confusing data sets. This creates more time for leadership to engage with clinical staff and take a more involved approach to culture. Because 51% of EY respondents believe employee satisfaction in healthcare drives patient satisfaction, not only will this boost morale, it will positively impact patient care.
Advancing with Analytic Insights
Access to reliable, accurate and insightful data is imperative as hospitals work to improve performance and quality. There’s more focus on patient outcomes than ever before, and as CMS continues to impose regulations and mandates, the spotlight is on hospitals to perform or risk losing funding. Executives need immediate access to meaningful metrics on safety events, corrective actions, performance indicators, quality management, risk management and more.
With event reporting, quality management and performance improvement tracking in one easy-to-use online platform, ActionCue CI is your Fast Path to Insight™. Its robust, real-time reporting features give executives the data they need to be proactive, rather than reactive, and drive better clinical outcomes.
Organizations’ leaders have historically accepted that quality and safety efforts require a large amount of time and effort, and lengthy processes. However, we believe applications should focus on collaboration and workflows that not only match the natural tasks and processes of users, but also shape the users’ behavior by encouraging methodologies that produce targeted results, and increase efficiency and accountability.
ActionCue’s design goes beyond ease-of-use to advance the way in which healthcare organizations engage with information in an application. The platform proves to be an enjoyable working team member, increasing productivity and facilitating education and improvement towards goals. Executives hoping to cut costs in 2018 should place significant focus on improving productivity and efficiency. With low operation costs, no hardware or installation requirements, and month-to-month subscriptions, the impact of ActionCue CI on cost reductions is two-fold.
As the healthcare industry continues to place more emphasis on quality and performance improvement, and improved clinical outcomes, 2018 promises to be a year during which increased efficiency and better utilization of resources is a major focus, and rightly so. If you’d like to learn more about how ActionCue CI can help you reach your quality and performance improvement goals more efficiently, contact us today and start 2018 off on the right foot.
Remember learning about the Hawthorne Effect? It’s a phenomenon first described by Elton Mayo and Fritz Roethlisberger, published in the late 1930s, in which “subjects in behavioral studies change their performance in response to being observed.” (http://hbs.me/1sGFCRy) As the theory developed, this was seen as employee motivation and productivity being enhanced by feeling special as a result of direct supervision, social participation in the workplace, and a host of other ground-breaking ideas at the time. Although the Hawthorne Experiments have been criticized over the years for lacking scientific rigor, the ideas generated from this work became the foundation of employee-as-human thinking, and it’s hard to argue with that. You pay attention to people and they do better work. So far so good, right?
This month, a Canadian study was published that looked at the relationship of hand hygiene compliance to hospital staff awareness of being observed washing their hands. (https://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/item.aspx?num=52445) Predictably, staff compliance increased 300% when they were aware of an auditor lurking nearby. This was labeled by the researchers as a result of the Hawthorne Effect. The troubling conclusion was that due to data being collected while staff are observed, the actual hand hygiene compliance rate is being inflated in publicly reported data. The implications of inflated rates or, specifically, worse hand hygiene compliance than what is being reported, disturbs on several levels including decision-making and policy-setting based on inaccurate data.
The important part of this for hospitals is how to get accurate data. If the Hawthorne Effect is the golden ticket responsible for improved performance but also the culprit behind inaccurate data, then we have some sorting out to do. Yes, we want to see 300% improvement across all our quality measures – but does that mean always standing over people watching them hang IVs, administer medications, and use appropriate sterile technique? Not likely. Back in Elton Mayo’s day when the work force was still finding a respectful work place, it appeared that attention to the employee, so sorely missing back then, could take the form of manager proximity to the employee performing his or her duties. This was construed as being engaged, and the employee felt singled out in a very positive way. These days, we expect our staff to be conscientious whether or not the QI Director is auditing performance. And, equally as important, we want staff to know they are respected and their contribution to the organization is valued.
I was on the phone with an ActionCue client today, an infection control nurse at a small hospital, and we were talking about how she collects hand hygiene compliance data. She said that she is going to have other manager/supervisory staff make ten observations a month of hand hygiene compliance in the course of their regular day on the floor. If she has even three helpers, that is 30 additional observations a month. More observations lead to more reliable data, and different people will be responsible which will decrease the auditor presence that seems to “Hawthorne” the data.
So try this: 1.) Get more people involved in quality improvement by sharing data rates with all staff, 2.) allow more people to be responsible for data collection to improve data volume and reliability, and 3.) rotate data collection to increase accountability –we’re all in this together! You will simultaneously let staff know you value the integral part they play and, I believe, get real first-person data collection that you can trust.