Over the last number of years, there have been numerous articles and reports issues on the quality and safety of the American healthcare system. Via Christi Health ministries are committed to improving patient safety and the quality of health care provided to our communities.
A report issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Crossing the Quality Chasm, 2001 identified six aims for improving health care and outlined 10 rules for redesign.
The six aims have been incorporated into Via Christi Health's commitment to quality health care. The IOM definition of quality was important as it recognized that quality is an evolving standard as technology and new learning advance the capabilities of medical science. Thus, it challenges health care to contemporary standards of care as the field advances.
IOM Definition of Quality:
The degree to which health services for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge.
IOM SIX AIMS FOR IMPROVING AMERICAN HEALTHCARE
Healthcare should be:
- SAFE- avoiding injuries from care that is intended to help them.
- EFFECTIVE- providing services based on scientific knowledge and avoiding those not likely to benefit
- PATIENT CENTERED- providing care that is respectful and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, values, and includes patient values in clinical decision making
- TIMELY- reducing waits and sometimes harmful delays for those who receive and give care
- EFFICIENT- avoiding waste, in particular - of equipments, supplies, ideas and energy
- EQUITABLE- care that does not vary in quality due to personal characteristics (gender, ethnicity, geographic location or socio-economic status)
In addition the IOM asked health care to adopt 10 principles to help transform the current health care system. These have been adopted by VCHS.
- Care is based on continuous healing relationships
- Care is customized according to patient need and value
- Patient is the source of control
- Knowledge is shared and information flows freely
- Decision making is evidence-based
- Safety is a system priority
- Transparency is necessary
- Needs are anticipated
- Waste is continuously decreased
- Cooperation among clinicians is a priority
Making these rules a reality requires that they become a priority within each ministry. We commit to eliminating five significant challenges in how we work together to accelerate our quality transformation:
- Our culture must embrace the safety imperative at all levels.
- We must standardize and eliminate variation across our health system where doing so provides benefit.
- Every member of our team must understand the business case for safety.
- We must invest in infrastructure.
- Our work model must recognize the benefits from diverse approaches to safety in our health ministries while embracing the advantages of working collaboratively as a system.
VCH has begun improving care through the following system initiatives:
- Compliance with National Patient Safety Goals
- Prevention of falls resulting in serious injury
- Prevention of facility acquired pressure ulcers
- Improvement in patient satisfaction scores
- Increase in compliance in number of patients meeting all CMS Quality Indicators
In addition, our VCH Board of Directors and health system senior leadership has established performance targets for VCH to achieve top decile performance on all of our quality metrics as a statement of their commitment to improving patient safety and quality. The Board and senior leadership regularly review the performance and are committed to making those results available to the public.