Partners HealthCare has published a new set of quality measures that show a more comprehensive picture of preventive and chronic care outcomes and effectiveness by sharing new data gathered by doctors during the patient visit and recorded in the patient’s health record. In addition to these new measures, Partners has also published reports that show the data at a practice level—historically not available to the public.
“For both patients and health care professionals, it has always been difficult to distinguish exceptional health care from average care due to limited data,” says Tom Sequist, MD, Chief Quality Officer for Partners. “Our investment in a single health record across our acute care and specialty hospitals and 250 practices has allowed us to rethink the way we measure quality. Starting with primary care, we are moving beyond the traditional claims-based quality measures known as HEDIS (Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set), and modifying them to consider physician input and the individual health of a patient.”
By capturing information on the outcomes and effectiveness of the care in its clinics, hospitals and rehabilitation facilities, physicians from Partners member institutions can evaluate the quality of care they provide in real time, allowing them to better engage with their patients and improve their choice of treatments. “This is a substantial improvement over the lagged data available in current quality measures that rely on insurance claims data,” adds Dr. Sequist. “This translates to actionable measures of quality for our providers.”
As an example, a Partners physician can review their performance on breast cancer screening rates for their patients, compare their overall performance to other physicians in our system, and then identify in real-time patients who may benefit from a phone call or a letter reminding them to get screened with a mammogram.
“In addition to measuring more of what is clinically important to our providers and patients, our electronic health record-based measures enable us to monitor and report on all of our patients,” says Dr. Sequist, “not just those with private or commercial health insurance. This gives us a more comprehensive picture of the quality of care we provide to every patient every day.”
Partners has also added the voice of the patient to its quality measures by incorporating its patients’ ratings of their own care experiences. While this information is available on the Massachusetts Hospital Quality Partnership site, collocating it with our other clinical quality measures enables patients to see a more complete picture of the care we provide.
“The more comprehensive preventive and chronic care data, alongside the practice-level and patient experience data represent a commitment to transparency. We see this as a fundamental component of providing high-quality care,” adds Dr. Sequist.
Partners believes that providing publicly accessible clinical data, both in primary care and beyond, is crucial to advancing care within our evolving health care landscape. These primary care measures are available in the prevention and chronic care section of the quality and safety area of the Partners.org website. To learn more about our other activities using transparent data for clinical decision making, visit our Care Decisions Website.