We all have times when we rely on “favorites” to simplify our decisions. Without pausing to see what else is available, we might opt for our favorite ice cream or our favorite movie, for example.
Some people have asked us questions about the selection of QualityPath hospitals based on their perceptions of “favorite” hospitals. Sometimes the QualityPath designated hospitals are already their favorites; other times, they heard that a hospital on the list was not someone else’s favorite.
No Favorites Allowed
The QualityPath program was designed to identify high-quality hospitals and physicians without playing favorites.
Hospitals had to apply to be considered for QualityPath. Before the application was reviewed, staff members removed all the identifying information such as names and addresses.
The “de-identified” applications were then sent on to a review team that included quality experts, physicians and Alliance executives. Their review was based on data from past patients as well as the hospital’s ability to adopt processes that have been shown to improve outcomes.
That meant that hospitals made the list – or not – based on performance and processes, not whether they were the reviewer’s “favorite.”
‘Why Isn’t My Hospital on the List?’
Some people have told us that the list of QualityPath designated hospitals should include their favorites. That might mean the hospital located in their community or a hospital they used in the past.
There could be several reasons why your “favorite” isn’t on the list.
First, many hospitals chose not to apply for QualityPath. The Alliance set a high bar for QualityPath quality criteria and we recognize that it takes a significant commitment to meet the standards.
Other hospitals applied but did not receive designation. The Alliance has decided to only share the names of hospitals that applied and met QualityPath’s high standards. That’s because facilities and physicians may have many reasons for choosing not to pursue QualityPath designation or for being unable to completely meet the standards at this time, including pursuing other goals or priorities related to quality and patient care.
We encourage all hospitals within The Alliance network to apply when we complete our next annual review.
‘Grandma Didn’t Like Them’
Some people tell us that their grandma, sister, friend, uncle or dad had a poor experience at a hospital that has been designated as a QualityPath provider when working with a designated doctor.
Here are some things you should keep in mind when considering their experiences:
- First, programs can change and improve. Every single applicant who entered this process made positive changes to their program. So the program they have now is likely to be significantly different than the program they had in the past. That’s the kind of change that QualityPath aims to encourage.
- Second, we know that outcomes can vary from physician to physician. QualityPath rates a specific facility working with a specific physician to try to account for that difference.
- Third, no facility is perfect. For a variety of reasons – including some that are related to the facility and some that might be related to other factors – any facility or physician can sometimes have imperfect results. That’s why we also make informed decision-making part of the requirements for participating in QualityPath.
What is QualityPath?
QualityPath® will guide consumers to physicians and hospitals that — when working together — meet proven standards for delivering quality care for total knee replacement, total hip replacement and coronary artery bypass graft.
Seeking Better Outcomes
QualityPath aims to put the processes and measurements in place that can help lead to a better outcome for patients who are having a high-stakes procedures.
QualityPath cannot guarantee a good outcome for every patient. But we can increase the likelihood of a good outcome by directing patients to physicians and hospitals that have proven outcomes and that have processes and procedures in place to maintain a high level of quality.
Prior to joining The Alliance, Amy served as the quality program administrator at Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation. She took on the role of project manager for the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) accreditation efforts as well as the development and reporting of key health plan quality metrics. Her resume also includes work at UW Health (University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics) where she served as a clinical content facilitator.
Amy attended University of Wisconsin-Platteville where she received her Master of Science in project management and Lawrence University where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in music, neuroscience and biomedical ethics.
Read blog posts by Amy.
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