PTN Best Practices: The Practice of Improvement

The Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative is all about helping practices prepare to thrive in a value-based payment environment. Continuous process improvement and sound data management are cornerstones of success, so much that we’ve dedicated a three-part series of our “Best Practices” podcast to discuss data-driven improvement strategies.  

Episode 6 provides an overview of two quality improvement strategies that undergird most successful transformation stories– the IHI Model for Improvement and Lean Process Improvement. Our co-host Dr. Thomas Spain describes how and when these methods can be applied to enact change and how to incorporate feedback to reach your improvement goals. Whether you’re hearing about it for the first time or as a helpful refresher, don’t miss out on these foundations of change in “The Practice of Improvement, Part I.”

Episode 7 addresses in a common predicament many of us have tackled before — why do my data not show what I was expecting? In this episode we discuss the importance of making sure our data are trustworthy. This starts far before we run a report, we must first ensure our goals are specific and measurable. We discuss why the extra effort to clean our data, develop comfort and expertise with our EHR, do chart audits, and even real-time, simple data collection activities is worth it in the end. Tune into “The Practice of Improvement, Part II.”  

Episode 8 pulls it all together by sharing a story from Cookeville OB/GYN. In an effort to bring down avoidable ED visits, this practice began a PDSA cycle to take a close look at their data. To their surprise, they discovered dehydration was a recurring cause for their pregnant patients’ ED visits. Staff launched a “Why Water” campaign that ushered in changes ranging from enhanced nurse-patient conversations, to television ads, to providing IVs in the office. Check out “Improvement in Practice: Cookeville OBGYN” for tips from the field about leading your team through change.     

To hear these and other Best Practices podcast episodes, please visit the MidSouth PTN LinkedIn page.

The views expressed in this story are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of included persons or entities. Additionally, this work was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative, under grant number 1CMS331549-03-00. The contents provided are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS or any of its agencies.