Linking reimbursement to patient outcomes rather than treatment processes is a huge shift for America’s healthcare system. As value-based care becomes more widely adopted, measuring and tracking clinical outcomes becomes essential. At NexGen Surgical, we embrace the shift to value-based care and believe there are many benefits for surgeons whose clinical performance is based on outcomes. For patients, a focus on outcomes helps direct clinical attention toward one goal—the patient’s health status and experience—rather than specific interventions.
What Are Clinical Outcomes and How Are They Measured?
Clinical outcomes are measurable changes in a patient’s health, function or quality of life that result from the care of a healthcare professional. Information on clinical outcomes provides quality assurance and valuable insight into treatment efficacy. Measurable clinical outcomes can include numerous factors including:
- Mortality rates
- Safety of care
- Readmission percentages
- Patient experience scores
- Efficient use of medical imaging
- Timeliness of care
- Effectiveness of care
Defining these outcomes, measuring them and routinely reviewing outcomes-related data is important for any facility and care team. Although focusing on outcomes rather than processes is a significant change in thinking, the benefits are worth overcoming any potential barriers to implementation.
Benefits of Basing Clinical Performance on Outcomes
One of the major benefits of basing clinical performance on outcomes is that it focuses the clinical attention of an entire organization on one goal—patient experience. When outcomes are the top priority, clinical conundrums are solved faster, only necessary tests are conducted, physicians from different specialties collaborate more effectively and patients experience less frustration in navigating the complex medical system. Additionally, physicians are able to spend more one-on-one time with patients as a focus on outcomes promotes a departure from volume-driven payments to results-driven payments.
Promoting Innovation and Advancements in Healthcare Through Measurable Outcomes
Basing clinical performance on outcomes will be embraced by forward-thinking physicians because it promotes innovation amongst clinicians. In contrast to a focus on processes, which leads to ritual care and inhibits innovation, a focus on outcomes encourages out-of-the-box ideas that transform patients into healthy individuals as quickly and effectively as possible. Additionally, outcome-focused care allows physicians to compare themselves to and learn from one another. Opportunities to improve working practices will be highlighted, encouraging physicians to become more effective care providers.
Empowering Patients to Make Informed Choices
Measuring outcomes provides patients with the basis for making informed choices about their care. Not only can they review outcomes for individual treatments, surgeries or other therapies, but they can also review outcomes for individual care providers. This greater public transparency promotes accountability and provides evidence for service improvements and quality assurance of operations. Physicians experience a greater incentive to provide exemplary service to patients, both clinically and interpersonally.
How NexGen Surgeons Benefit from Basing Clinical Performance on Outcomes
NexGen surgeons are not burdened by the same administrative duties of most surgeons. Rather than being required to spend valuable time on administrative tasks like payroll, billing, collections, staffing and negotiating with payors, our surgeons are able to focus solely on delivering high-quality patient care. When it comes to basing clinical performance on outcomes, our surgeons are already well-positioned to focus on providing long-term solutions to patients as opposed to short-term fixes. The transition to value-based care will be smoother for NexGen surgeons simply because they have more time to devote to patients.
NexGen surgeons work two weeks per month, enjoy no call during their time off and are free to live wherever they please. We take on the administrative role of your surgical practice so that you can focus on what matters most—patient care and having a healthy work/life balance. If you are interested in joining the NexGen team, call us at 844.592.0802 to learn more about our current job openings.