Selecting a balanced set of metrics from the variety of options is crucial for measuring quality. Metrics related to clinical outcomes—the change in a person’s health as the result of intervention or treatment—are of course an important part of the mix. By identifying and tracking clinical outcomes, a hospital can better understand its current quality of care and work to implement changes where needed.
But having a policy in place to track outcome measures isn’t a guarantee that the job gets done well. Having worked with a number of healthcare facilities, we understand how frustrating the data-gathering and reporting processes can be. For many hospitals, these activities pose obstacles to effective tracking, and can make it difficult to gain meaningful insights that would actually lead to change.
We’re not healthcare experts, but we are healthcare data tracking experts! To help you move forward confidently with your planning and tracking efforts, take a look below at the top three outcome measures in healthcare institutions and how you can use ClearPoint to easily stay on top of them.
Choosing the appropriate healthcare outcome measures depends on the facility itself (its services and specialties, for example). But according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), there are three broad categories of clinical outcomes that play heavily into the quality rating of a hospital: mortality,safety of care, and readmissions. Below, we break out each of these into specific measures.
Mortality is usually tracked in relation to cause of death, so outcome measures in this category might include death rates for:
Safety of care refers to preventing and reducing risks while administering health care, and eliminating errors made by care providers and staff members.
CMS lists eight measures in this category:
A readmission is defined as admission to a hospital within 30 days of a discharge from the same facility (or a sub-facility). A high rate of readmissions implies that patient issues may be repeatedly left unresolved; it could also mean there are communication issues around the medication or care needed after discharge. Understanding what’s behind a high readmission rate is the first step to improve clinical outcomes in this area.
CMS uses seven outcome measures here:
While most hospitals are familiar with these clinical outcome measures, they may not be as familiar with the best way to track them (or any of the numerous other measures). The nitty-gritty details of tracking—who’s responsible for doing it, how often, where and how to make the results available, etc.—are stumbling blocks that can sink even the most dedicated staff members’ efforts to launch a more meaningful tracking program.
Many hospitals attempt to track clinical outcomes like the ones above using Microsoft Excel. Excel has long been a staple for data collection and most people are familiar with how to use it, both of which are reasons why it’s become the default solution.
But it has some serious drawbacks that make it unsuitable for tracking and reporting on large amounts of data, making those processes harder than they need to be. If you’re still using the desktop version:
Essentially, Excel offers you a way to collect and store your data, but it falls short on helping you make good decisions on a consistent basis.
Hospitals that invest in reporting software like ClearPoint have found it pays big dividends in time savings, data accuracy, and version control; it also takes the focus off tracking and reporting and puts it on decision-making.
To track outcome measures in healthcare you need data. Don’t waste time chasing it down yourself—let ClearPoint do it for you. In our software it’s possible to:
ClearPoint serves as a central hub for all your performance data. Many hospital administrators have found that simply having such a hub available—and making it accessible to all employees—motivates people to stay on top of their metrics and work to improve them.
The whole point of data tracking is to find ways to improve your clinical outcomes. Of course, not getting bogged down with data-gathering means you have more time to analyze and interpret the data. But it’s also important to have a tool that promotes data analysis in various ways. ClearPoint can help by:
All these features bring your data to life, showing you clearly how things are going and what needs attention. And it can all be done easily and quickly—with the click of a button.
Your data needs to be shared with various stakeholders—managers, regulatory bodies, the public, etc.—but doing so isn’t always easy if you’re using Excel. ClearPoint makes reporting a snap because you can:
ClearPoint lets you share results the way you want to—you don’t have to conform to a set of limitations imposed by our software. It takes away all the headaches traditionally associated with reporting, leaving only a streamlined, smooth process that practically runs itself!
Give your hospital a better chance at improving clinical outcomes by arming it with the right tool. Our team is ready and waiting to support you in tracking and reporting on your most important measures in ClearPoint—whatever they may be—so reach out today and let’s get started! And if you’d like to read more about how other healthcare facilities have benefited from switching to ClearPoint, check out our case studies.