We asked three CMOs and chief quality officers from hospitals and health systems across the nation for a favor: Define the “biggest win” for patients in 2015, in their organization or the industry as a whole.
The following are their responses, lightly edited for clarity and length.
Ken Sands, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer of Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center (Boston):
To my mind the biggest patient wins in 2015 have been an increasing trend towards transparency with some real innovations starting to take place that will benefit patients both in terms of the patient experience and in terms of patient safety.
At BIDMC we are continuing to advance the “open notes” concept which is the idea of making patients medical records available to them as soon as the physician writes them. This enables patients to be educated about their care and keeps them engaged and knowledgeable. I think we’ve recognized the benefits of that in terms of the patient experience and also in some concrete ways, such as medication adherence and ability to ask intelligent questions of physicians. We are seeing that program spread nationally, more and more institutions are adopting an “open notes” system.
We are also doing work to advance communication and resolution as an alternative to traditional litigation following medical errors. That’s another example of transparency as a big win for patients. Other really neat examples include an initiative at Brigham and Women’s where they now publicly report what they learn from adverse events through a program called Safety Matters. Another initiative at Geisinger Health System allows patients to rate their physicians online.
On the horizon we are continuing to deploy technology for the transparency agenda. We are starting to explore a more sophisticated use of patient portals, including smartphone or tablet applications that allow patients to interface with their providers. I think that is where the transparency agenda will be moving next.
Read Shannon Barnet, Max Green and Heather Punke’s complete review here.