Over the past decade, big data has transformed almost every aspect of life, from the way we shop to the way we work, travel, and invest. At Partners HealthCare, big data has also had a profound effect on the way we assess the quality of the health care we deliver every day. Powered by Partners eCare, our electronic health record system, we have developed quality measures that paint a more accurate and comprehensive picture of the preventive and chronic care outcomes and effectiveness delivered to our primary care population – not only at a network level, but at the practice and provider level, a level of detail historically unavailable to the public. For the first time at Partners, we have a quality measurement system that allows us to evaluate the care we are delivering to all our primary care patients, and we are posting these data on our external website for the world to see.
“Our investment in a single health record has allowed us to completely rethink quality measurement,” explains Thomas Sequist, MD, Chief Quality and Safety Officer, Partners. “We’re moving beyond traditional, claims-based quality measures to employing information that our physicians put into our patient clinical records daily to monitor and improve the health of individual patients across our system.” This move has resulted in significantly improved engagement in quality improvement on the part of our physicians. For example, Partners physicians can review and compare care for their patients with diabetes with other physicians across the system, and then identify those patients who can benefit from a call from a population health coordinator, a visit to a nutritionist, or perhaps just updated laboratory tests. Through the use of registries, care teams are able to more easily identify patients needing services, even if they haven’t had a recent visit with their primary care provider.
“This is a substantial improvement that translates into real-time, actionable knowledge for our providers – and an unprecedented level of transparency for our patients,” concludes Dr. Sequist.