Healthcare innovators focus on 'quality as a business strategy' -- update from Journal of Healthcare Quality

March 06, 2020

March 6, 2020 - Despite two decades of effort - targeting care processes, outcomes, and most recently the value of care - progress has been slow in closing the gap between quality and cost in the US healthcare system. It's time for a new approach focusing on healthcare quality as a business strategy, according to a special issue of the Journal for Healthcare Quality(JHQ), the peer-reviewed journal of the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ). The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

Commissioned by NAHQ, the special issue shares insights from healthcare organizations leading the way toward a focus on quality as a business strategy. "For the past 20 years, the health care industry has improved and innovated, but it hasn't come far enough or fast enough.," commented Stephanie Mercado, CAE, CEO of the National Association for Healthcare Quality. "As you can see from the papers published in this issue, when quality is leveraged as a business strategy and the people doing the work have the competencies to deliver on quality and safety, we can accelerate our progress and achieve real improvement."

Quality as a Business Strategy for Improving Healthcare: Six Innovative Approaches

The special issue was assembled by Guest Editors Cathy E. Duquette, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, CPHQ, FNAHQ, and Nidia S. Williams, PhD, MBB, CPHQ, FNAHQ. It presents six invited papers illustrating the wide range of programs being implemented by interprofessional teams across the health continuum to improve the quality of care:

Improving Documentation for Stroke Patients. At Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, Randi Toumbs, DNP, RN, MS, AGACNP-BC, and colleagues used standardized templates and trainee education to increase the accuracy of clinical documentation for stroke care. In addition to improving performance on stroke metrics, the program improved case mix index and expected length of stay - two factors with ad impact on reimbursement.

Assessing Costs of Pressure Injury. Shea Polancich, PhD, RN, of University of Alabama at Birmingham and colleagues tested a method to estimate the costs of hospital-acquired pressure injuries: a common and preventable complication. Despite challenges, the pilot study suggested that assessing the costs of adverse events can help in validating the return on investment efforts to improve the quality of care.

Bundled Payments for Joint Replacement. A study led by Tobin Lassen, MBA, MPH, of Cedar Gate, a value-based care performance company in Houston, found that mandatory participation in a Medicare bundled payment program for joint replacement does not improve patient outcomes. The researchers suggest that further study is needed to explore differences in the effects of bundled payment programs for patients in different settings.

Vertical Integration in Skilled Nursing Facilities. Research led by Tory H. Hogan, PhD, of the Ohio State University College of Public Health, Columbus, found that that vertical integration of hospitals into skilled nursing facilities reduced hospital readmissions for pneumonia - but not for heart failure. These mixed results suggest that vertical integration of care may have differing effects in different types of hospitals.

Reducing Unnecessary Phlebotomy. Valerie L. Strockbine DNP, RN, CPHQ, of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, and colleagues evaluated the use of a clinical decision support system (CDSS) to help reduce the rate of non-evidence-based phlebotomy testing. They found that the CDSS reduced the number of unnecessary tests and lowered costs, with the potential for further savings with more widespread introduction of the system.

Value Transformation Framework. Cheryl Modica, PhD, MPH, BSN, of the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and colleagues report on the development of a Value Transformation framework to provide an "actionable pathway" toward a value-based care approach at federally qualified health centers. The NACHC provides tools to help guide systems change toward the "Quadruple Aim" goals of improved healthcare outcomes, improved patient experience, improved staff experience, and reduced costs.

"As a leader in healthcare quality, I know first-hand the value of leveraging quality as a business strategy. I've worked with countless individuals and together we've made patient care better, and saved millions of dollars," commented Carole Guinane, RN, BA, MBA, CPHQ, President of the NAHQ Board of Directors. "There is no question, a vital component of leveraging quality as a business strategy is the healthcare workforce that is ready to deliver on value."
Click here to read "The Value Transformation Framework: An Approach to Value-Based Care in Federally Qualified Health Centers." DOI: 10.1097/JHQ.0000000000000239

About the Journal for Healthcare Quality

The Journal for Healthcare Quality(JHQ), a peer-reviewed journal, is an official publication of the National Association for Healthcare Quality. (NAHQ). JHQ is a professional forum that continuously advances healthcare quality practice in diverse and changing environments, and is the first choice for creative and scientific solutions in the pursuit of healthcare quality. The Journal publishes scholarly articles that are targeted to leaders of all healthcare settings, leveraging applied research and producing practical, timely and impactful evidence in healthcare system transformation.

About NAHQ

NAHQ is the leader in healthcare quality competencies. NAHQ provides a strategic advantage to healthcare professionals and the organizations they serve by developing and evolving competencies in healthcare quality that result in better patient and financial outcomes to support the goals of healthcare value. NAHQ offers the industry standard certification in healthcare quality, extensive educational programming, networking opportunities, and career resources to help healthcare professionals meet the challenges they face. Learn more about NAHQ at

About Wolters Kluwer

Wolters Kluwer (WKL) is a global leader in professional information, software solutions, and services for the clinicians, nurses, accountants, lawyers, and tax, finance, audit, risk, compliance, and regulatory sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with advanced technology and services.

Wolters Kluwer reported 2018 annual revenues of €4.3 billion. The group serves customers in over 180 countries, maintains operations in over 40 countries, and employs approximately 18,600 people worldwide. The company is headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands.

Wolters Kluwer provides trusted clinical technology and evidence-based solutions that engage clinicians, patients, researchers and students with advanced clinical decision support, learning and research and clinical intelligence. For more information about our solutions, visit and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter @WKHealth.

For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Wolters Kluwer Health

Related Joint Replacement Articles from Brightsurf:

Researchers use lab-grown tissue grafts for personalized joint replacement
A multidisciplinary team from Columbia Engineering, Columbia's College of Dental Medicine and Department of Medicine, Louisiana State University, LaCell LLC, and Obatala Sciences has now bioengineered living cartilage-bone temporomandibular joint grafts, precisely matched to the recipient, both biologically and anatomically.

After Medicaid expansion, 'unmet need' for joint replacement surgery
States that have expanded Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act have seen an 'early surge in demand' for hip and knee replacement surgery, reports a study in the September 2, 2020 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Osteoarthritis: Conservative therapy delays need for knee and hip joint replacement surgery
With implementation of conservative treatment methods like physiotherapy and individually tailored, adjusted exercises, quality of osteoarthritis care can improve and patients can delay the need for an artificial hip or knee joint.

Translating skeletal movements, joint by joint
A global team of computer scientists has developed a novel deep-learning framework that automates the precise translation of human motion, specifically accounting for the wide array of skeletal structures and joints.

Does your cat have degenerative joint disease?
With an estimated 10-15% of adults over the age of 60 having some degree of osteoarthritis, otherwise known as degenerative joint disease (DJD), many people will be familiar with, or will know someone who suffers from, this painful and debilitating condition.

Bundled payments have not led to 'cherry-picking' of patients for joint replacement surgery
A pilot program introducing bundled payments for hip and knee replacement (HKR) in Medicare patients hasn't led hospitals to 'cherry-pick' healthier patients at lower risk of complications, reports a study in the February 19, 2020 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Link found between gut bacteria, successful joint replacement
Having healthy gut flora -- the trillions of bacteria housed in our intestines -- could lower the risk of infection following knee and hip replacement surgeries, while an unhealthy intestinal flora may increase the risk of infection.

Low income is a risk factor for 'catastrophic' amputation after knee joint replacement
Above-knee amputation (AKA) is a rare but severe complication of deep infection after knee replacement surgery.

No increased risk of complications for joint replacement in ambulatory surgery setting
Researchers conducted a study to compare patient outcomes and costs for in-patient hip and knee replacement surgeries to those performed in an ambulatory surgery center.

A model for more efficient use of resources after joint replacement surgery
Patients who live close to the hospital at which they have had a hip or knee replacement are much more likely to visit the emergency room for follow-up care of pain, inflammation and other complaints than those who live farther away, according to a new study.

Read More: Joint Replacement News and Joint Replacement Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to