Orlando Health is taking its quality and patient care initiative to the next level, bringing medical outcomes data directly to its patients and their families. Digital boards, located in patient care units now display information about the number of patients with blood infections, blood clots, urinary infections, falls with injury and bed sores. The information will include the actual outcomes, the hospital's goals for the outcomes, and information about ways families and visitors can help ensure a health care environment of quality and safety. The organization began the quality and safety transparency program at South Seminole Hospital in Longwood, on Wednesday, February 20, 2013.
"Hospital data has a long history of being reported to government agencies and regulatory entities," said Thomas Kelley, MD, Chief Quality Officer for South Seminole Hospital. "And in recent years hospital data has become more publically accessible through government reports and other annual releases of information for old or outdated data. What we are doing is new and different from two perspectives - one, we are bringing our information directly to patients, and two, we are sharing very current data."
For example, the first digital board reveals zero falls with injury during the first quarter of the fiscal year, for the Progressive Care Unit. The hospital's goal was zero. Another example, five patients developed a blood clot during hospitalization within the same time period, for the same unit. The hospital's goal was zero.
The first quarter time period is from October 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012 (The hospital's fiscal year period is October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013.). The digital boards will be updated monthly to reflect the previous six month period. However, the initiative launches with only three months because the timing follows the start of the fiscal year.
"We recognize this is new territory for hospitals and patients," said Jamal Hakim, MD, Chief of Quality and Transformation of Orlando Health. "Few facilities are so transparent and forthcoming with this kind of information. We see this as not only an opportunity to share specific information about our outcomes, but also as an opportunity to educate the public about our initiatives, what we are doing to improve, and cultivate a more open dialogue with our patients and their families to discuss steps we can all take to ensure better health in the hospital and at homes in our community."