Quality health care

Ensuring Quality Care in the Digital Age of Quantity

November 13 2018

We don’t know what we don’t know. 

“The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.”

– Thomas A. Edison

Recently I had the honor to spend some time with some amazing people that are committed to quality in healthcare at the at 2018 HQI Conference in Huntington Beach- yes the sacrifices I must make- what an amazing venue! There, I learned that most of the attendants have been doing their reporting for quality via long hours of manual effort. I look at this in two ways…

1) I applaud such valiant efforts to achieve something worthwhile; and

2) are they unaware that technology can decrease their burden? These hard working professionals certainly cover the hard work and stick-to-itiveness. As for the third essential, this isn’t a case of a lack of common sense, it’s simply a case of…”we don’t know what we don’t know”.  

How do you ensure healthcare quality when the priority is quantity?

Data is everywhere. When it comes to data, what is one person’s garbage is another person’s treasure. It simply has to do with what question you have to ask. And when it comes to quality and reporting metrics it’s best to listen to the experts.  The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) exists to improve the quality of health care...they even say so on their web page.

You would think that improving quality was all just a matter of common sense- but it isn’t, it’s hard work because it’s achieving both quality and quantity in healthcare. In other words, get the patient in, and out - so you can see the next patient and, by the way, give them optimum, efficient care. Oh yes and please report some metrics on that because you will be tested on your performance- in lieu of optimized pay for services. 

Confused? Don’t fret the Digital Quality Conference is here

The Digital Quality Conference was created out of this confusion - with the pursuit of valiant efforts to encourage all of us that are struggling to provide better care. It’s not just lectures - the conference’s very purpose is to allow participants to involve themselves in working groups that discuss problems and use cases to help everyone achieve their goals.  

How can Artificial Intelligence (AI) help with healthcare quality?

Linguamatics will be on premise at the conference to discuss how AI can help in general. We will also be there to discuss some use cases where Natural Language Processing (NLP), a component of AI, has been a particularly efficient and notable timesaver.  We will be discussing how clients like Dr. Vivienne Zhu at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) utilized NLP to help defeat senior enemy #1  ...throw rugs..  Well actually, her title was “Identifying Falls Risk Screenings Not Documented with Administrative Codes Using Natural Language Processing.” A title which is maybe not as colorful but much more informative.

Why do Falls Risk Screenings matter?

Scary statistics of course!

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) there are some scary statistics out there about falls. First there’s the informative chart about fall death rates and a call out that if the rate of fall growth continues at this rate that by 2030 there will be 7 deaths due to falls every hour. Yes! Every Hour. Then there is the financial burden on the US, the CDC states…” In 2015, the total medical costs for falls totaled more than $50 billion. Where Medicare and Medicaid had the burden of 75% of these costs.” Is it any wonder why NCQA made this a metric?

Striving to improve quality

We all can’t do the great work that Thomas Edison did. But we all can do our share in making this a better world. We can all contribute a little effort in the many areas of quality in healthcare and in life.

We hope to see you at The Digital Quality Conference but if you can’t make it and want to find out more about what we do in healthcare and the quality space:
Request a demo