In part one of The Top KPIs Every Palliative Care Program Needs for Managing Growth, we shared with you three KPIs that will support building a successful palliative care program; Marketing Metrics, Operational Metrics, and Billing Metrics. In part two of this blog, we dive into two more KPIs needed to create a clear strategy with measurable goals and a system in place to effectively monitor the progress of these goals.
Quality care in the hospital setting generally looks at survival, functional ability, successful care transitions and quality of life. While quality care in the hospice setting generally looks at reducing symptom distress, improving caregiver outcomes, and reducing hospitalizations near the end of life. According to a study done by the Journal of Palliative Medicine called, A Review of the Essential Components of Quality Palliative Care in the Home, these “Six essential elements of quality palliative homecare were common across the studies: (1) Integrated teamwork; (2) Management of pain and physical symptoms; (3) Holistic care; (4) Caring, compassionate, and skilled providers; (5) Timely and responsive care; and (6) Patient and family preparedness.”
The study concludes to say, “The application of these elements must be relevant to the local community context. To create impactful, sustainable homecare programs, it is critical to capitalize on existing processes, partnerships, and assets.”
While there is a “Palliative Care Measures Project” being conducted through a cooperative agreement between RAND and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and funded by the CMS, these measures are far from being implemented. Those organizations who have some means of ongoing quality assessment and performance improvement efforts will be well positioned to easily implement new quality measures as they are formalized and will likely perform better on those areas if they have already been monitoring and addressing them in some way. What you choose to measure and how you engage staff to should further the initiatives of your individual organization and reflect the types of patients you are serving, their goals and in what setting.
Measuring the patient experience is another best practice for healthcare providers and this is yet another area that lacks standards for palliative care providers. Because of the accelerated growth in palliative care, there has been a growing awareness around the need for standardized quality measures. However, there is currently no standardized survey instrument widely available to providers.
Just like with quality outcomes, it is best to consider the patients you serve, their goals and in what setting to craft thoughtful questions for measuring patient experience. Only ask questions that will yield valuable and actionable insights. And consider incorporating global measures used in other parts of the care continuum such as overall satisfaction with the care provided and willingness to recommend your organization to family and friends.
Understanding the patient’s palliative care experience will further illuminate the how your value is perceived and opportunities for improvement that will strengthen the care your provide.
Effectively managing a palliative care organization during a time where standards are yet to be defined and the regulatory landscape is shifting is tricky. Selecting the measures that matter based on your organizational goals will enable you to strengthen your mission and the care you provide to differentiate yourself and stand out in your market. Building a data driven organization from the ground up will establish a culture of performance improvement that will serve you as regulations are formalized and required.
For many providers, gathering data from desperate systems and generating reporting insights can be a full-time job. Curantis Solutions offers an end-to-end palliative care solution that is fully integrated with our hospice software to create a robust platform for hospice and palliative care providers.
Study referenced: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5733665/
Read Part One of this blog, here!