Be measurably fabulous

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Steven Littlehale, EVP and Chief Clinical Officer, PointRight Inc.
Steven Littlehale, EVP and Chief Clinical Officer, PointRight Inc.
On the heels of American Health Care Association announcing the adoption of PointRight's OnPoint-30 rehospitalization metric, you may be wondering what it means exactly and what's at stake. The answer is: plenty.

Today, success only matters when it's measurable. If you want to rub elbows with hospitals and mingle with accountable care organizations, then the ball is in your court to prove your ability to prevent rehospitalizations to get the right referrals from hospitals. And, those ACOs additionally need to see measurable patient satisfaction results before inviting you to their party.

So how do you prove you measure up? First, you must understand your true rehospitalization story as it applies to your case-mix. Then you need to tell your referral sources and potential partners how fabulous you really are through strategic marketing.

Is your low rehospitalization rate due to an overall well population? Conversely, is your rate high because you admit sicker patients? Also, are your overall rates due to large success with one type of patient but not another?
The time to make a case for evaluating case-mix, diagnosis-specific outcomes is now.

Knowing your case-mix adjusted rehospitalization rates, a facility can focus on quality improvement opportunities and discern a clear message — and strategic positioning — to those hospitals and ACOs. Culling rehospitalization rates by diagnosis can demonstrate excellence in key specialties. A facility that excels at caring for congestive heart failure might not be the best place to treat pneumonia. Now with analytics tools such as OnPoint-30 you have direct access to these metrics.

Next, with your true hospitalization story ready, you need to go and tell the world about how fabulous you are. Align you referral sources' weaknesses with your strengths. If your largest referring hospital struggles with CHF patients, then that must become your “center of excellence.” If you aren't already excellent at caring for these patients, can you be? Your quality improvement efforts should focus on improving your ability to accept and care for these patients.

Coupling your marketing and improvement strategies with analytics will prove how you can help target hospitals and ACOs meet their goals. Start talking their language and they'll soon realize that you really are measurably fabulous.
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