Improving quality of care:
A profound commitment to a profound mission
Let’s get a couple of things straight.
We don’t have any problem with the recent study in the Journal of American Medical Association. We willingly participated in the research, “The relationship between occurrences of surgical complications and hospital finances,” which looked at the outcomes of more than 34,000 surgeries at our hospitals in 2010.
Our goal is to become a transparent organization — ready and willing to share what we’re doing and where we have improvements to make. Our quality programs are a reflection of our commitment to our profound mission: to improve the health of the people in the communities we serve. This recent study further reflects our commitment to transparency and open dialogue about improving the quality of hospital care.
And that’s why we have a bit of a beef with the conclusions drawn from the study.
The conclusion of the study is very observational and highly conditional: “Depending on payor mix, some hospitals have the potential for adverse near-term financial consequences for decreasing post-surgical complications.”
We wholeheartedly disagree with that premise and in fact, Texas Health has invested significantly to help ensure we are delivering the best patient care possible.
Let’s look at the innovative safe surgery initiative we started in 2011. The data for the study was collected before we started the safe surgery program. Although the complication rate for our patient populations was within the expected range — that wasn’t good enough. So we’ve invested millions of dollars in a safe surgery program and other quality initiatives aimed at reducing inpatient complications, reducing hospital readmissions and proactively addressing preventable health problems before they become life-threatening events.
Texas Health has also been a leader in numerous quality initiatives. And we love talking about it. Just ask us.
We believe we have a moral imperative, guided by our mission, to prevent harm and eliminate avoidable complications. Over the last several years, we’ve been vocal that the healthcare payment system is antiquated and needs to change. And we have engaged with payers that are willing to try alternative payment models.
Each and every day we look at our processes and continually make refinement to benefit our patients. No doubt the economics of healthcare are changing. But what will never change is Texas Health’s commitment to the very best care for our patients.