Health Care Organizational Transparency

Ask yourself a question:  If you were a patient seeking out a health care organization to provide your care for a chronic medical condition, would you choose the organization that does not appear to acknowledge or easily track any medical errors or the organization that has an accurate electronic system in place to track and monitor medical errors on occurrence? 

I have no doubt that everyone would choose the health care organization that appears more transparent with business practices. The need for transparency has always been present in health care organizations; however, an even greater need is being fueled by the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Transparency is crucial to businesses in health care, not only to attract consumers, but to portray this value to current and potential employees as well.  In order to improve the quality of health care being administered to patients, this same value is increasingly becoming a necessity, and to some, a standard for which to compare an organization. 

According to an article that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2013, “by being candid with both patients and clinicians, health care organizations can promote leaders’ accountability for safer systems, better engage clinicians in improvement efforts, and engender greater patient trust” (p. 1677). 

The patient empowerment movement continues, so does the need for a greater transparency to prove that your organization is focused on providing quality services to patients and managing employees efficiently while upholding accountability.

Here are a few questions to consider when examining whether or not your organization is doing its due diligence in aiming for complete health care transparency, not only in day-to-day processes, but also employee relations, issue tracking for quality improvement, and overall health care pricing of products and services. 

Does your organization currently have this same focus?  If so, how are processes handled when it comes to tracking medical errors, employee management and accountability, and overall quality improvement? If not, what is holding the organization back from efficient management of these issues? 

Are you still stuck in the 80’s tracking these processes with mounds of overflowing paper documents and folders?  Are they readily accessible by your employees to know how well they are performing?  If not, ask yourself if there is a better way to structure this necessary tracking, monitoring, and overall organizational transparency in your health care organization?

Would having a mechanism that is efficient and able to be customized to your company’s needs be helpful, such as checklists? Imagine if this existed! The ease of such a product could allow for multiple users to access easily; not only would this make organizational processes more efficient, but overall team communication would dramatically increase for the benefit of not only the organization, but overall patient care quality would be visibly improved.

I see no downside to improving patient safety and care quality, employee engagement and accountability, health care organizational transparency, and effective team communication. So, what’s your justification for not seeking a product that could incorporate all these functions?

 

 

References:

Kachalia, A. (2013). Improving patient safety through transparency. New England Journal of

Medicine, 369(18), 1677-1679. doi: 10.1056/nejmp1303960