Today, more than ever, patients have many choices to make about the type of medical care they receive. We know that patients want to have reliable and understandable information about the quality of care our hospitals provide to make the best decisions possible.
There are several national organizations that define the best ways to measure quality. These organizations use research and expert consensus to decide what data to gather, how to analyze it and how to display the data. They set the standards to ensure that any hospital which participates has reliable and accurate data.
In an effort to be transparent in our quality data reporting, we choose reliable national measures and then we report our data even if the results show that we need to improve. We share all the data with you even if we are not yet meeting our performance goals on the measures.
Our quality measures were chosen because they meet these goals:
- Transparency: we want measures to be upfront and easy to understand
- Public methodology: the methods of collecting and analyzing data are available for study
- Validity: we want measures to be validated by reputable research or expertise
- Comparisons: we want measures that can be compared to a national average or other comparison or benchmark so consumers can compare us with the high standards set for hospitals across the nation
- Expertise: we choose measures that have been developed and tested by the most well-respected, independent national experts
- Relevance: we choose measures that are relevant to our patients, to help you to understand, select and plan for high quality healthcare
We display information in a way that is understandable and useful to you. We share our results consistently over time; if our performance is not as high as we'd like, we show you the data anyway, while we work on improvement. We believe you need the facts in order to make an informed decision about your healthcare.
How We Measure Quality
At Novant Health hospitals, and in other hospitals around the country, quality is measured in two ways:
#1. Treatments and procedures
This type of quality measure is used to assess whether hospitals are using the right treatments and procedures when patients are in the hospital. An example of a treatment and procedure measure is the percentage of patients suffering a heart attack who were given an aspirin when they arrived at the hospital. The National Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) collect data on this measure because studies have shown that a patient who takes an aspirin while suffering a heart attack has a greater chance of survival.
This type of measure assesses the success of the treatments and procedures patients receive in the hospital. However, outcomes are very difficult to measure and statistically analyze successfully and equally because every patient is different.
For example, an otherwise healthy 23-year-old patient who has pneumonia will not have the same chance of survival as a 93-year-old patient with underlying heart disease or other conditions. Because of these sometimes vast differences, there are not many valid and reliable outcome measures available.
A few leading independent national measurement agencies have developed statistical methods to adjust for severity of patient illness when predicting outcomes, such as risk of mortality and complications. These models aren't perfect and should not be the sole deciding factor when choosing a hospital. However, we have included relevant outcome measures adopted by these leading agencies on our quality site to help with your decision making.
Examples of outcome measures are:
We Want To Hear From You
- How many patients who arrive at the hospital with a heart attack survive to discharge?
- This is measured by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Heart attacks are a common cause of death, but when heart attack patients quickly receive the right care, their chance of survival increases. Treatments and procedures at a hospital can have an effect on heart attack survival, so this measure may be an indicator of the quality of care a hospital provides.
- How many patients develop an infection after surgery?
- This is measured by the American College of Surgeons' National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP). Surgical infections can cause pain and in some cases, they cause significant harm to patients. Because most surgical infections are preventable, post-surgical infection rates are important quality measures.
We would like to know what you think of our quality information. Let us know if you found this section helpful and easy to understand or if there's any additional information you need but couldn't find. Contact Us