Transformational Quality in Kaiser Permanente Northern California

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Abstract

The evolving nature of health care related to optimizing the quality of patient care while increasing efficiencies presents an opportunity to redesign roles within hospital quality departments to meet these upcoming challenges. Specifically, passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and creation of Accountable Care Organizations will require hospitals to carefully monitor patient care outcomes as well as continually seek to improve their processes. An approach used by the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Regional Quality and Regulatory Services Department assisted the 21 hospitals of Kaiser Permanente Northern California to improve quality-of-care outcomes, establish effective assessment teams, and create infrastructure for sustainability. Leadership by a centralized internal consulting group used a model that weighs risk and opportunity against cost and outcomes to support strategic planning as projects and initiatives developed, rather than after they were initiated. This model can assist other organizations in maximizing cost-efficient and -effective performance improvement approaches to clinical and operational excellence.

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