Harvard Business Review recently (9.22.15) posted an article about the public availability of Cleveland Clinic's Outcomes Data.
I think insights within these books are helpful and should help direct similar programs. There are limitations naturally and I for one would like to see more granularity in reporting and I have included a few examples below but all-in-all, a positive step toward transparency and improving high-value care.
- Identify the target audience, because the audience shapes the reporting. We have chosen peer physicians, but one could argue the case for patients, employers, or even commercial insurers as target audiences. Whatever audience you choose, make the choice early — it will greatly affect how you present the data, the language you use, and the look and feel of your published products.
- Recognize that most measures of substantial interest are the long-term ones, so they are likely to take years to collect properly. Fortunately, we were a very early adopter of an electronic health record system, which has greatly facilitated some of our measurement. However, organizations just starting down this road may have a very limited number of outcomes available for reporting, which could be discouraging, although specialties that report to national registries can begin with those data. Wherever you are now in this process, have hope: The many pages of measures that Cleveland Clinic reports across our 14 books has grown considerably, even though we started relatively small.
- Accept that reporting outcomes requires resources, and plan to fund and support your effort. Data collection, preparation, analysis, and reporting all take time and effort from many people. If the top leadership of your organization supports the effort to report outcomes, it is much more likely to be sustainable.
There are 14 books although I focus primarily on these 3 in my own research and reporting:
1. Medicine Insititute
2. Neurological Institute (primarily cognition)
3.Taussig Cancer Institute (Cancer Institute data provides a variety of outcomes measures that are informative and not often reported in the literature.)
How do we guard against cherry-picking outcomes? Each book is reviewed by the Outcomes Books Editorial Board — a group of 18 volunteers, primarily physicians representing 14 clinical institutes plus a few statisticians. This group helps to identify missing outcomes that should be reported, as well as outcomes that are unclearly presented or poorly measured.
Available books for 2014 outcomes...