Spire Healthcare has been awarded the Laing & Buisson award for Healthcare Outcomes for its ‘demonstration of clear evidence of genuine improvements in healthcare outcomes’. This award demonstrates how Spire Healthcare is spearheading the drive for accountability and demonstrating clear clinical outcome data within the healthcare industry.
With the introduction of the Care Quality Commission, all sectors of the healthcare industry will be required to demonstrate transparent data readily and consistently. Not only will this assist the NHS with world class commissioning but it will also greatly assist patients as they decide who treats them, when and where. As patient choice and patient experience become increasingly important, outcome data, accountability and performance will become ultimate indicators.
“The industry is moving fast, and soon there will be no-where to hide,” comments JJ de Gorter, Director of Clinical Services at Spire Healthcare. “Patient choice is driven by the result of their treatment, not the actual treatment itself. They measure the success of the hospital by whether they can ride a bike six months after their knee operation, or whether they can climb the stairs after a hip replacement. They obviously want a good experience, but more importantly they want good outcomes.”
Opting for an integrated response to healthcare measurement, Spire Healthcare employs no quality assurance role, preferring to integrate this into all daily practices. The evolution of a ‘clinical scorecard’ system has helped with simple reporting from all staff and highlights under or over-performing hospitals so appropriate plans can be put in place where required, or best practice shared. The scorecard also supports patient reported outcome measurement (PROM) analysis, which is set to become a compulsory measurement tool in 2009.
JJ adds: “Delivering a ‘quality’ service is an ambiguous phrase; no organisation is going to say that it doesn’t provide quality, but the term quality needs to be assessed and qualified consistently across all of aspects of care and healthcare. This has not happened to date. Here at Spire, we have identified six quality goals to help ensure we are providing the best, and our scorecard system monitors these factors across every hospital, which is cross-referenced with a ‘traffic light’ system to highlight where contingency plans are required.”
The scorecard system also assists managers to ensure clinical compliance and guarantee consultants know they are operating in a clinically competent environment. The ‘six quality goals’ featured in the clinical scorecard incorporate staff, management, consultants and patient opinion across safety, compliance, staff empowerment, patient empowerment, effectiveness and reliability. This allows a full evaluative process to take place.
“In such a data-rich society, providing records of performance shows that you are performing the best, and the Laing & Buisson award supports our fantastic figures for 2007,” adds JJ. “Health care organisations have to communicate outcome data more, and make data analysis part of the front-line. As we move towards a more commercial market, we should take example of what other industries do. You would not buy a house without having a survey before, or a car without seeing its service history. This is the same for healthcare, as there are so many choices. We publish each hospital’s data on our website and overall data through our GP newsletters and consultant events. With the Care Quality Commission’s remit, the industry needs to take note of outcome data and encourage it, not be ashamed of it.”