Features  |   February 2014
Measuring Quality of Care: A Call to Action
Author Affiliations
  • Sheila R. Barnett, M.D.
    Committee on Performance and Outcomes Measurement
  • Edward Pollak, M.D.
    Committee on Performance and Outcomes Measurement
Article Information
Quality Improvement / Features
Features   |   February 2014
Measuring Quality of Care: A Call to Action
ASA Monitor 02 2014, Vol.78, 20-22.
ASA Monitor 02 2014, Vol.78, 20-22.
Physicians face a new reality: fewer healthcare dollars directed toward those who deliver the highest-quality care for the lowest price. The new system means that some physicians will receive proportionately more and some less of value-based payments. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has already indicated that value is the new deliverable from physicians and hospitals, and soon other payers, including patients, will follow their lead. Thus, anesthesiologists cannot afford to ignore the current reality: prove your value with data. It may surprise anesthesiologists, often touted as leaders in patient safety, that our surgical colleagues are ahead of us on measurable quality. The American College of Surgeons (ACS) and Society for Thoracic Surgeons (STS) have already partnered with CMS to create pay-for-performance measures that have demonstrably improved patient care. By contrast, anesthesiologists have only three measures as of November 2013: antibiotic timing, normothermia, and the central line bundle. Many of us doubt that these three measures will even be meaningful in a world of bundled payments. Furthermore, future measures will need to reflect our impact on the continuum of care during the entire perioperative period. If anesthesiologists are defined only by the intraoperative management of their patients, anesthesiology, as we know it, will be in serious jeopardy.
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