The role of the hospitalist in quality improvement: systems for improving the care of patients with acute coronary syndrome

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The role of the hospitalist in quality improvement: systems for improving the care of patients with acute coronary syndrome

Quality improvement (QI) initiatives for systems of care are vital to deliver quality care for patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and hospitalists are instrumental to the QI process. Core hospitalist competencies include the development of protocols and outcomes measures that support quality of care measures established for ACS. The hospitalist may lead, coordinate, or participate in a multidisciplinary team that designs, implements, and assesses an institutional system of care to address rapid identification of patients with ACS, medication safety, safe discharge, and meeting core measures that are quality benchmarks for ACS. The use of metrics and tools such as process flow mapping and run charts can identify quality gaps and show progress toward goals. These tools may be used to assess whether critical timeframes are met, such as the time to fibrinolysis or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), or whether patients receive guideline-recommended medications and counseling. At the institutional level, Project BOOST (Better Outcomes for Older Adults Through Safe Transitions) is an initiative designed to improve outcomes in elderly patients who are at higher risk for adverse events during the transition from inpatient to outpatient care. BOOST offers resources related to project management and data collection, and tools for patients and physicians. Collection and analysis of objective data are essential for documenting quality gaps or achievement of quality benchmarks. Through QI initiatives, the hospitalist has an opportunity to contribute to an institution’s success beyond direct patient care, particularly as required for public disclosure of institutional performance and financial incentives promoted by regulatory agencies.

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