Youve all heard the big news. Health and Human Services has announced a program to provide close to $1b in incentives to health systems that improve their quality of care. According to Modern Healthcare, the partnership’s two main goals are to lower the number of preventable hospital-acquired conditions by 40% and reduce preventable complications that occur during care transitions by 20% by the end of 2013, compared with 2010. This is big news, but its not the last time we will hear of this. With HCAHPS, the growing importance of transparency and health reform, this is only the beginning of the connections between payments and quality indicators.
So, why should HR professionals in healthcare tune into this issue? Because quality indicators like HACs (hospital acquired conditions) can be influenced by many things, but they all come back to the employees. You cant necessarily identify in an interview if a candidate will wash their hands or pay attention to surgical checklists, but you can do more than just interview for technical competencies.
Healthcare HR needs to take a strong leadership role to make sure that the right behavioral competencies are integrated into the hiring and development of employees. Dont wait for senior management to come to you when HCHAPS scores are low and they are frantic for a solution. Dont wait for your CNO or CMO to get it and push their managers to focus more on fundamental talent management. Healthcare HR can’t just sit back and wait for the economy to pick up and find themselves back where they were 5 years ago forced to hire the first Nurse, PT, or Pharmacists they could find (even if that person never met a patient they liked).
Transparency on quality of care, payments based on quality of care, are real and will be the norm for the future. Quality care requires quality talent. Act fast, act now, or be left behind.
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