Q&A with Chief Quality Officer
Chief Quality Officer Shares Thoughts on Quality at University Hospitals
University Hospitals Institute for Health Care Quality & Innovation represents UH’s commitment to continuous improvement of clinical care quality and patient satisfaction, according to Chief Quality Officer and institute director William L. Annable, MD.
Find out more about Dr. Annable’s thoughts on quality at UH:
- How does clinical care quality at University Hospitals
We stack up very well. In 2011, for instance, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center was named one of the top hospitals in the nation by the Leapfrog Group, which represents insurers and employers who pay for care.
That is a very demanding audience when it comes to quality and
value, so Leapfrog’s standards are among the very toughest. Leapfrog
evaluated objective data on patient outcomes from 1,200 hospitals
nationwide, and honored only the 65 best. No other northeast Ohio
hospital earned the honor. We are very proud of that award, and of
many other quality awards we have consistently earned over the
years at UH Cleveland Medical Center, at our community hospitals and as
- So with all the awards and the national recognition for quality, why did University Hospitals feel it necessary to establish the UH Quality Institute in 2011?
We take great pride in our track record of excellence. At the same
time, we are never satisfied. We constantly look for ways to improve
clinical care and patient satisfaction. We innovate and develop better
ways to provide care, and we learn from other institutions. If you
think about “the best” as a goal, you have to understand that it is a
moving target – best practices constantly evolve. Clinical care and
patient satisfaction are improving around the country. We want
to stay among the very best. So we keep trying harder to provide
superior clinical care and deliver an extraordinary experience for our
patients, every single day.
- What are the UH Institute for Health Care Quality & Innovation’s goals?
Improved outcomes, more satisfied patients and better value, all
across the UH system. We’re developing data-based, patient-focused
metrics for every aspect of quality: clinical care, patient satisfaction,
safety, process improvement, research and education. Then we’re
dedicating teams of top experts to find the highest-value ways to
achieve those goals. We’re learning from best practices in the health
care industry – and we’re establishing them for other institutions to
- How did you design the UH Institute for Health Care Quality & Innovation?
We started with our own outstanding quality program as a solid base. Then we visited hospitals all throughout the country to learn from their quality programs. We combined the best elements of each into something
we believe will be a national model.
- Does better quality drive up costs?
On the contrary, it’s good business. For example, let’s think about the way hospitals get reimbursed for care. The federal government and private
insurers are using new carrots and sticks aimed at getting high-quality outcomes at lower cost. Medicare, the federal insurance program that
provides 41 percent of all hospital payments, is phasing in big monetary incentives for reaching goals for clinical quality and patient satisfaction,
and penalties for missing them. Then, consider simple market principles: Patients want top clinical quality and a pleasant experience, and they will
take their dollars to whoever gives them both.
- So quality is competitive?
Very much so, especially in this new consumer-driven health care environment. And at UH, we want to continue to win.