fbpx

Why Healthcare Quality Metrics are Worthless

Daniel Paull M.D. explains that what is easy to measure isn't always important, and what is important isn't always easy to measure.

Not everything that you can measure is important, and not everything important is measurable.

Sometimes the easiest things to measure are the least important.

The other issue is knowing what is important and what’s not.

 

In healthcare, the data that is easy to get is normally pretty worthless except in cases of outliers.

Data is helpful for internal quality control not tied to reimbursements.

Let’s say that there are a lot of spine surgery infections.

Data will allow you to possibly pinpoint the culprit, whether that be the surgeon or improper equipment sterilization procedures.

This is a good thing.

 

In healthcare, the data that is easy to get is normally pretty worthless except in cases of outliers. Click To Tweet

 

Healthcare data becomes very unhelpful when you try to find “quality” and then tie that to reimbursements.

Maybe the doctor with the higher infection rate is also treating the most complicated patients.

Maybe the doctor with the lower infection rate only does chip shot surgeries that don’t very often get infected.

Maybe the internist whose patients have higher A1C levels and blood pressure are from a much sicker population.

Analyzing this data based on metrics is not only worthless, it can harm physicians who are doing the right thing.

Once you tie this to payments, then the system will be perversely gained. Sicker patients will suffer.

 

Analyzing this data based on metrics is not only worthless, it can harm physicians who are doing the right thing. Once you tie this to payments, then the system will be perversely gained. Sicker patients will suffer. Click To Tweet

 

Many don’t like that there is no easy way to measure quality in healthcare.

But there is an easy way.

Ask any physician or patient who a good doctor is and they will tell you.

Human interaction captures the intangibles that metrics won’t.

Can you measure this? Probably as well as you can measure a good restaurant.

Share

Tweet this:

Earn CME credit:

This learning experience is powered by CMEfy - a platform that brings relevant CMEs to busy clinicians, at the right place and right time. Using short learning nudges, clinicians can reflect and unlock AMA PRA Category 1 Credit.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

I Have to Wait How Long?!?!

I Have to Wait How Long?!?!

David Epstein, MD, MS, FAAP discusses why it takes time to be seen for an acute illness and what makes up a medical visit.

Susan J. Baumgaertel, MD FACP

Navigating Your Health (with Dr. Susan Baumgaertel)

Dr. Baumgaertel draws upon her 30 years of experience as a physician in primary care internal medicine, and uses her personal story-telling style to communicate with you as if you are sitting right across from her. Pull up a chair and enjoy.

My DPC Story

Their DPC Stories

Physicians are increasingly looking to different practice models, as burnout rates continue to climb. This series explores the DPC model.

Support A Platform that Celebrates Real Doctors

For just $10 a month, you can help keep this openly accessible site available to all & help us sposnor in more doctors.

I acknowledge that this site is not to be used for medical advice.

Play Video
Our Founder Answers Your BURNING Question

SoMeDocs

“Why should I become a member of SoMeDocs if I already have my own space online?”