Aligning Doctors to Improve Quality at Memorial Hermann

Posted by The Evidence Blog on April 21, 2016

HIMSS16 brought together more than 41,000 healthcare professionals, with presentations by carefully selected experts in healthcare technology. One of the best-received presentations was by Shawn Griffin, MD, chief quality and informatics officer for Houston-based Memorial Hermann Physician Network. Now let me quickly admit my bias—Memorial Hermann is a client of Hayes. But how can you not love this question from Dr. Griffin?

MemorialHermann.jpeg“If I walk down to the doctors’ lounge and I punch a physician in the face, he is engaged. If I find a way to work with him he can be aligned. Which one are you doing to your physicians in your hospitals?”

Dr. Griffin also serves as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) liaison and quality contact for the Memorial Hermann Accountable Care Organization (ACO). He directs the quality measurement and data collection programs for the most financially successful Medicare Shared Savings ACO in the country, having achieved $110+ million in savings in the first two performance years.

So when Dr. Griffin speaks, we should all listen.

Achieving Success as an ACO
A firm believer in evidence-based medicine (EBM), Dr. Griffin understands that you have to go beyond just the clinical component to achieve success in today’s healthcare environment, which is moving:

  • From volume incentives to value incentives
  • From fee-for-service and disparate payment to fixed and bundled payments
  • From illness/cure to population health
  • From fragmentation to integration

Dr. Griffin told the audience at HIMSS16, “Evidence-based medicine is not clinical evidence-based medicine, it could mean financial evidence-based medicine. What is cost-effective is just as valuable as what is clinically efficacious.”

Memorial Hermann relies on Hayes for a wide range of services to help advance health outcomes, improve cost profiles, and deliver patient-centered care. Hayes’ Evidence Advisor Service, health technology assessment products, and accredited education programs are used by healthcare systems to support the integration of independent evidence into care management protocols.

Memorial Hermann began their quality improvement process more than a decade ago with the Clinical Programs Committees (CPCs). For example, a CPC attacked the issue of foreign bodies left in patients, continually adjusting rules as results got better. Memorial Hermann was certified for Zero Retained Foreign Bodies for 60 months for the period ending December 2014.

The CPCs give physicians a voice in driving quality, and are charged with:

  • Protocols – creating and measuring EBM practices and order set templates
  • Performance – setting and monitoring progress against established quality standards and protocols
  • Products – driving the standardization of vendors, formularies, and supply chain decisions
  • Payment – pay for performance goals, co-management agreements, ACO project metrics and Patient Centered Medical Home elements
  • Projects – ED to ED transfer policy, CT scanning in pediatric head trauma, standardized order sets in Observation units, service lines, and credentialing and privileging standards
  • Program Rationalization – consolidation and concentration of clinical service delivery (i.e., open heart and joint programs)

“If you don’t involve the physicians in the quality agenda and the process, then what you’re doing is making decisions and then asking for physician buy-in. Doctors don’t want to buy in, they want to contribute and be involved from the beginning. Take your doctors your problems earlier. You’ll have champions from the beginning,” Dr. Griffin advised.

Contact Hayes if you’re ready to learn more about using evidence-based medicine to achieve better cost and care outcomes.

Topics: Hayes Blog

Sign up to receive updates from our blog

Our latest articles

New Call-to-action