I believe that one of my most important responsibilities as CEO is to challenge clinicians and other staff to continually assess and improve the quality of care and to give them the tools to do so. CLG is such a tool. It allows clinicians, analysts, and managers to quickly explore reams of data themselves - with no need for IT resources. Studies initiated at the grass-roots level by staff with a desire to dive into data have improved results throughout our medical center. We have attracted significantly more - and higher value - research grants; we have avoided the staffing expense of a horde of analysts; and, most importantly, we have improved the quality and reduced the cost of care by identifying and treating high risk conditions earlier.
CLG has enabled us to create a data-driven culture that engages our staff and drives change throughout the organization. Ultimately I want everyone in the organization to know what he or she can do to improve quality. I believe that such an environment is critical to attracting and retaining the highest quality staff and to maximizing our performance. CLG gives us that edge.
Connecting People and Data to Improve Quality
Transforming data into actionable information is essential to improving both operational and clinical quality.
We must connect our programs, our people and our data. All our planning and analysis must become data-driven. And the use of data must become part of the fabric of the organization.
Clinical Looking Glass is showing us what's possible, how a data-driven culture with the right tool in hand can be a game-changer in terms of operational and clinical quality. When we succeed in creating a self-reflective environment focused on continuously improving quality through the use of data, it permeates the entire organization. Everyone understands that they can make a difference.
The following is an example that illustrates what a non-clinician demonstrated using CLG.
Gatifloxacin Side-effects Study
Gatifloxacin was an antibiotic on the market for ten years until 2006 when a study was published showing it was associated with an increased risk of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. These blood sugar abnormalities were potentially serious enough to cause a patient to be hospitalized.
As a non-clinician trained in Clinical Looking Glass, this person was excited to use CLG to understand the impact of Gatifloxacin within our medical center and compare the results with the study. Using CLG's Time-to-Event analytic capability, he first identified a group of patients who were treated on an outpatient basis and had a prescription for Gatifloxacin during a recent two-year period. For these patients he determined what adverse event would cause concern – in this case selecting hyperglycemia.
Next he chose a control group – patients with an outpatient visit during the same period who had a prescription of a Macrolide, an alternative medication class that includes erythromycin stearate and erythromycin base - in order to find the incidence of a comparable adverse event.
Immediately he could see the results, and they were eye-opening. Within five days after the prescription was written, the rate of hyperglycemia was almost three times greater for those patients with a prescription for Gatifloxacin (3.1% incidence of the adverse event) than for those with the Macrolide control group (1.1%). The gap continuously widened over the rest of a 30-day study period to the point where the incidence of adverse events was 8.6% for Gatifloxacin compared with 2.5% for the Macrolide group. These results were comparable to the reported study. Our medical center was able to produce the same findings. We had a huge opportunity to improve care, but did not know to look for it. Now we can. We have to continue to search for more of these opportunities.
I am so impressed that we have CLG within our medical center – a tool that allows hundreds of our staff to create studies in minutes for which other organizations would have to pay huge amounts of dollars, take much greater amounts of time, or would not even pursue because of the dollars or the time.
This example is the tip of the iceberg of what is possible in our never-ending quest for improving what we do for our patients. And it reinforces that everyone can make a contribution, regardless of position on the organization chart!
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