August 15th, 2011 | The Blog
Last Autumn, the New England Journal of Medicine released a report indicating that despite many years of quality control programs, there was no noticeable decrease in patient injuries. Sadly, this has been pretty much the story for a long line of quality issues in all areas of health care.
The good news is that there’s finally some credible quality control in development which is seriously believed to be able to manage the quality issues.The long saga of seemingly endless frustrations is finally turning into a working proposition for actual improved health care and good working methodologies.
The New York Times reports:
Now that may be changing. Last week, nearly 1,000 surgeons, nurses and hospital administrators from across the country convened in Boston to discuss what is quickly becoming one of the most far-reaching of such efforts, the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program from the American College of Surgeons, the largest professional organization of surgeons. With?the average American undergoing nine operations in his or her lifetime, the implications of a program that can improve how patients do after surgery are enormous.
The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) is working with a new initiative based on monitoring patient charts, not the more usual insurance and coding data. This process is similar to a highly successful methodology used to reduce surgical complication rates in Veterans Health Administration patients in the 1990s and was subsequently offered to all hospitals in 2004. About 400 US hospitals now use these methods, and most importantly, the results are being believed by clinicians.
The importance of this program cannot possibly be overstated. The quality of care issue is gigantic in scope and degrees of difficulty. The clinical problems are major issues, and the lack of progress has created a true tangle in the medical sector at all levels. The net effect of this situation has been highly destructive and counterproductive. Matters aren’t simplified by the range of new infection issues and other complications.
A single-stream, same page best practice methodology is likely to be the best option across the board for doctors and nurses managing patient care. It’s been a very long time coming, but this might do the trick. If so, it’s a major boost at a very opportune time for the sector. With any luck, this may be the benchmark for future medical practice, incorporated at all levels of care.