A Roadmap for Improving Healthcare Service Quality : Journal of Healthcare Management

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A Roadmap for Improving Healthcare Service Quality

Kennedy, Denise M. MBA; Caselli, Richard J. MD; Berry, Leonard L. PhD

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Journal of Healthcare Management 56(6):p 385-402, November 2011.



A data-driven, comprehensive model for improving service and creating longterm value was developed and implemented at Mayo Clinic Arizona (MCA). Healthcare organizations can use this model to prepare for value-based purchasing, a payment system in which quality and patient experience measures will influence reimbursement. Surviving and thriving in such a system will require a comprehensive approach to sustaining excellent service performance from physicians and allied health staff (e.g., nurses, technicians, nonclinical staff). The seven prongs in MCA's service quality improvement model are (1) multiple data sources to drive improvement, (2) accountability for service quality, (3) service consultation and improvement tools, (4) service values and behaviors, (5) education and training, (6) ongoing monitoring and control, and (7) recognition and reward. The model was fully implemented and tested in five departments in which patient perception of provider-specific service attributes and/or overall quality of care were below the 90th percentile for patient satisfaction in the vendor's database. Extent of the implementation was at the discretion of department leadership. Perception data rating various service attributes were collected from randomly selected patients and monitored over a 24-month period. The largest increases in patient perception of excellence over the pilot period were realized when all seven prongs of the model were implemented as a comprehensive improvement approach. The results of this pilot may help other healthcare organizations prepare for value-based purchasing.

© 2011 Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives

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