The Point of Unity is...Quality
Our Quality Reports
At UnityPoint Health we want to give you the "Best Outcome for Every Patient, Every Time". One of the ways we try to always get better is by looking at quality and patient satisfaction information you give us. In every area of our health system we have teams that dig into the numbers and read about the best way to make your visit with us better, we call this best practice or evidence-based practice.
We ask nationally and internationally known groups such as Det Norske Veritas (DNV), The Joint Commission (TJC), and the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) to come to our hospitals and clinics and rate how well we are doing. Oftentimes we do better than what they expect from hospitals and clinics. We do this to make sure we are giving you safe, effective, and affordable care.
One of the ways you can decide who you want to provide your healthcare is by looking at quality and patient satisfaction scores. Many healthcare organizations report their scores in a way that only looks at what they are doing well. If you would try to compare one hospital to another, you will quickly see that it is very hard to do.
That's why we're doing things a little different.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) tell most organizations across the nation to report quality and patient satisfaction scores to them, with very strict rules around how the numbers are gotten, to make sure that if someone does want to compare one organization to another, it is fair. We believe this is the only way we have right now to compare "apples to apples." We feel this is the most honest way to show the numbers that support our approach to patient care.
How CMS Comparison Works
When you click on a link to a report, we take you right out to the numbers on the CMS Compare websites. While many healthcare organizations will report their data on their own, you will see that their numbers don't usually match those reported by CMS.
Are CMS comparisons the perfect way to show a provider's quality? No. Sometimes they can be hard to understand. Sometimes they give more information than what you really need or want. But we believe it is the only fair way to review some clear, nationally agreed upon numbers. When you are looking for which healthcare provider to turn to to protect and improve your health, we hope you look carefully at many things. Talk to other patients, friends and family, and consider your own needs.
When you do look at the numbers, know that while there are always areas where we would like to have higher scores, we want you to know how committed we are to always getting better. If we score below the state or national average on any given metric you may wonder what that means. We want you to understand there could be many reasons that a number may be below those averages:
- CMS compares all organizations across the nation, that are required to report, against each other. So, while no one wants to be lower than average, about half of the health systems in the United States will fall below the average on any given measure while still providing very good, quality care. In some cases, the difference between "the best" and "the bottom" is a matter of just a few percentage points.
- Oddly, a health system that does a better job than others of finding and reporting infections or complications may end up with data that appears to be less positive than those systems who are not as good at finding those problems.
- On the other hand, some health systems may not find and report risk factors as well as others. This can lead CMS to believe that their patients are not as sick as they really are. CMS might then apply the wrong "risk adjustment" (a number that is supposed to show how sick a hospital's patients are) to the health system data. So the organization doesn't get the full credit for how hard they are working to help people get better.
- The measure may do a poor job of showing what it's supposed to. Measures that might be weak are those based only on the number of procedures or those based on billing information (the AHRQ Patient Safety Indicators and Inpatient Quality Indicators use billing data).
- Some measures do not show or take into account the wishes of the patient. A patient may come to the hospital with a paper, an Advance Directive, saying they do not want to be revived if they should stop breathing or their heart stops beating. No matter what the wishes of the patient are, a death in the hospital is a death according to CMS and is counted against the hospital's mortality (death) rate.
All of these things are drawbacks to making fair comparisons - whether a measure is "in our favor" or not. We simply ask you to think about these things as you make your important, informed choice about our care.
In all regions, across all care settings, UnityPoint Health physicians, nurses, and staff are working each day to make sure you experience care centered on you, your safety, and the quality of services we deliver. We focus on little things, like double and triple checking identification bracelets, to big things like Patient Centered Medical Homes. A lot goes on behind the scenes that greatly improve care, quality and efficiency.
We are certain, based on our experience, our scores, our patient feedback and our reputation that your healthcare experience with UnityPoint Health will be a great one that gives you the best outcome for you and your family. Our goal is to be a dedicated lifelong partner in your wellness, and work every day to earn that level of trust and confidence.
At UnityPoint Health, the point of Unity is YOU.