By Karen Matthias, MBA, RN, Vice President, Sales and Marketing
In nursing school, our instructors drilled us about the 5 patient rights for medication administration as applied to patient safety. The “5Rs,” as they are known, can be summarized as the following:
- Right dose
- Right time
- Right patient
- Right route
- Right drug
Although these basics remain important in terms of patient safety, as healthcare reform moves us toward more collaborative, patient-centered care, isn’t it time to delineate the rights of hospitals and providers?
Provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will require hospitals to consider patient outcomes when evaluating and acquiring health technologies. Improving patient outcomes, however, depends on the application of evidence-based healthcare. If we are to elevate healthcare quality, improve the health of our population, and reduce healthcare costs, hospitals must have the commitment and tools to enable them to do so. In my opinion, the 5 rights of hospitals and providers necessary to make the right choice with regard to technology acquisition decisions include:
- Right information: Timely access to unbiased evidence that clearly shows whether a medical technology works and is safe, how well it compares to other approaches, and when and for whom it should be used.
- Right transparency: Full and candid disclosure and discussion of all stakeholders’ biases and conflicts of interest, such as physicians receiving royalty payments and consulting fees from manufacturers or pharmaceutical companies, and higher professional fees associated with providing the “new” or “enhanced” procedure.
- Right commitment: Alignment from all decision makers and service providers to integrate the best available evidence into all models of patient care.
- Right process: An evidence-based decision-making process for technology acquisition that avoids the adoption of “unproven” new technologies that add substantial costs to our healthcare system without delivering measurable improvements in patient outcomes or operational efficiencies.
- Right financial forecasting: Understanding the reimbursement landscape for new technologies so there are no surprises when it comes to reimbursement for services.