What Does Quality Data Do for Doctors

With the release of the new diabetes data, it is an opportunity to remind doctors that they can use this data to learn from each other, do comparisons against other practices, and ultimately see how they compare to the recommendations.

“The purpose of the quality data is to give physicians in Adams & York counties a chance to review recent recommendations and guidelines for conditions such as diabetes and heart disease,” said Dr. Neal Friedman, Medical Director for South Central Preferred, and member of the Physician Advisory Council and Consumer Advisory Council for AF4Q - South Central PA. 
“It also reminds physicians to review their own patients’ results and see if they’re adhering to the national guidelines. AF4Q South Central PA is providing a public outlet, so in turn, practices find ways to improve their processes, and patients learn how to improve their responsibilities as the patient,” Friedman added.

South Central Preferred takes the quality data and reconfigures it so it can be reported publicly – and securely through AF4Q – South Central PA. 
South Central Preferred has over 10 years of experience with measuring quality in the community and reporting measurements back to physicians for quality results.
Patients, doctors, certified nurse practitioners, or anyone interested, can see the quality measurements used to assess the health system and providers. It also gives patients a sense of what to look for when choosing a physician or practice, so they can ensure they’re receiving the best quality care.
Friedman indicated that the quality data has already had a positive effect on doctors’ offices.
“Because of the public release of the quality data, improvements in the processes of doctors’ offices have been made. Doctors have reported an increase in the number of patients receiving the appropriate measurements, such as LDL, weight, body mass index, and so on. One participating doctor said it ‘gives me an opportunity to reflect on the care I’m providing to a particular population of patients’,” he said.
The data is self-reported, and comes from a physician chart review of a random sample of charts. If the Web site (www.Aligning4HealthPA.org) states that the doctor or practice didn’t participate, it means the doctor or practice was given the opportunity, but chose not to for their own reason(s).
Some practitioners (doctors, physician assistants, certified nurses) aren’t able to participate because they do not practice more than 20 hours a week, or they haven’t been employed for at least a year.
“Doctors’ offices should get involved, as it will give them an opportunity to participate in quality improvement, enhance the processes in the office, and improve the partnership with the patient,” Friedman said.

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