Jumpstarting Quality Improvement Through Public Reporting

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<p>One of the keys to achieving a high performance health care system is to align physician practice with evidence-based medicine. Although the concept is simple, it is a challenge that has long frustrated many health care organizations and systems.<br><br>The new Commonwealth Fund case study, <a href="/publications/fund-reports/2008/jun/embracing-accountability--physician-leadership--public-reporting--and-teamwork-in-the-wisconsin-coll
">Embracing Accountability: Physician Leadership, Public Reporting, and Teamwork in the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality</a>, tells the fascinating story of how a voluntary consortium of health care organizations in Wisconsin has used public reporting of performance data as a tool to jumpstart the learning and quality improvement process.<br><br>The report's author, Ann Lennarson Greer of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, describes how the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality has achieved voluntary public reporting of clinical data for ambulatory care delivery sites, while also putting into place a "dynamic model for translating evidence-based medicine into community practice." The report shows how member organizations, which include both medium and large physician groups with a diversity of practice structures, collaborate on:<ul><li>developing scientifically valid ambulatory care measure specifications and an attribution method that enables physician groups and health systems to collect quality data on all patients in their care;</li><li>open sharing of quality performance data through public reporting; and</li><li>identifying and sharing of best practices to improve all members' performance.</li></ul>Early efforts in the area of ambulatory care have focused on conditions that are common, treatable, and costly: diabetes, uncomplicated hypertension, preventive cancer screening, and postpartum care. The collaborative currently reports data for more than 50 percent of Wisconsin primary care physicians, with a goal of 75 percent by 2010.<br><br>Read the report to learn more about how this physician-led organization is improving health care practice by embracing accountability.</p>