Quality Improvement Data

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Quality improvement data: Using QI instruments to address high readmission rates and medication errors Keeping track of quality improvement data is essential for all organizations: not simply for for-profit entities, but also for not-for-profit organizations such as hospitals. Patient readmission rates and medication errors are serious issues at many healthcare organizations. Using quality improvement instruments such as a fishbone (Ishikawa) diagram: which can "identify many possible causes for an effect or problem and sorts ideas into useful categories" and a Pareto chart, which "shows on a bar graph which factors are more significant" can help pinpoint the root causes of chronic problems that seem to arise from a multitude of factors (Cause analysis tools, 2013, ASQ). "The standard benchmark used by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is the 30-day readmission rate. Rates at the 80th percentile or lower are considered optimal by CMS"¦A hospital's readmission rate is calculated by dividing the total number of patients readmitted within seven days of discharge by the total number of hospital discharges." (Readmission rates, 2013, Mayo Clinic). Keeping readmission rates low is essential for the hospital to demonstrate a commitment to providing quality care at low cost and "a high readmission rate also can result in reduced Medicare reimbursements" as well as reflect negatively upon the hospital's PR when such reports are released (Can hospital
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