Driving Improvement

The Opportunity

In 2007, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement launched work on the Triple Aim to help health care organizations improve population health and enhance patients' experience of care, while reducing — or controlling the rate of increase — in the per capita cost of care.

The Affordable Care Act required the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to establish a National Quality Strategy to guide public and private sector activities, set priorities and include a strategic plan for how to increase access to high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans. At the center of the Strategy, there are three national aims:

  1. Better care
  2. Healthy people / healthy communities
  3. Affordable care

Inclusion of clinical quality improvement as a primary aim in the Affordable Care Act has elevated quality improvement in both clinical and public health settings. Systems improvements can lead to shorter wait times, accelerated appointments, decreased costs, and greater client / patient and staff satisfaction.

Our Strategy

In a recent book, Peter Block, an author and consultant on organizational development, asks, “Is it useful to look at problems and what is not working, or might we better look at possibilities and what is working?” At Cardea, we believe that this approach leverages the experience and skills of all involved, including clients / patients, staff, and leadership; establishes an ongoing relationship of respect and trust; and provides a strong foundation for driving improvement and supporting change in complex systems.

Whether driving improvement in a small clinic, community health center system, or state / local agency, Cardea strategically engages a core team of key staff to serve as internal champions, provides frameworks and rationale for systems improvements, supports teams in identifying goals; and offers data-driven approaches to evaluating improvements.

The Impact

Through our work to drive improvement in a wide range of health and human service settings, we have seen:

  • Increases in show rates among clients and patients
  • Increases in recommended, evidence-based screening and testing
  • Improved staff productivity
  • Enhanced client / patient experience