APGAR Score

P4P.  Evidence-based medicine.  Insurers and policymakers want to be sure that patient insurance premiums are being used towards high quality medical care. One example of quality evaluation in practice is the Apgar Score.  In 1952, Dr. Virginia Apgar developed this metric to evaluate the health of newborns.  Newborns receive a 0, 1, or 2 score on 5…

Eliminating Preventable Harm

In the U.S., 2.9% of individuals who enter a hospital are actually harmed by the medical care they receive.  Reducing these preventable iatrogenic injuries is one of the goals of any hospital administrator.  Paul Levy of Running a Hospital lists 3 goals to achieve in the new year which will help reduce these adverse events.…

Do global health ratings work?

Many health plans have used patient health ratings as important metrics for quality improvement.  The simplest way to evaluated the quality of a health plan is to ask all members to rate the plan from 1-10 and take the average score.  However, this simple averaging gives health plans an incentive to improve quality for low…

What makes patients choose your hospital?

Patients choose hospitals based on the quality of the medical care they receive and the hospital’s distance from their home.  But what nonclinical criteria do patients value most?  The Salud y Gestión blog reviews the findings of a study in The McKinsey Quarterly.  The study found that patients rank the following as the most important…

Should low quality hopsitals be given more or less money?

Recently, the San Diego Union Tribune reported that the Sharp Grossmont Hospital in eastern San Diego county was cited for a number of preventable deaths. Reporter Cherl Clark found numerous problems, which included: “staff members restraining a highly medicated, 25-year-old man with schizophrenia in such a way that he was allowed to suffocate. In addition,…

U.S. Health Care scores poorly

The Washington Post reports that U.S. Health Care [is] Still Ill. This conclusion comes from a report from the Commonwealth Fund titled Results from the National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance, 2008. Even though the U.S. still spends more money on medical care than any other nation, performance on the Scorecard has not improved…

Quality Improvement Tools & Techniques

For those of you in the operations research side of the medical care world, you may recognize an interesting textbook by Peter Mears title Quality Improvement Tools and Techniques. The book is a good reference tool, but is a little difficult to slug through. It has so many graphs, outlines, quotations, that there is little…