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6 Reasons to Implement an Acute Care Performance Improvement Project (PIP)

April 12, 2024
April 12, 2024

Success requires a commitment to connect your PIP data to actionable insights and accurately focus your team’s time

In the bustling world of acute care, Performance Improvement Projects (PIP)s are essential for hospitals looking to deliver high quality care, maintain regulatory compliance, enhance patient safety, optimize reimbursements, foster a culture of sustainability, and uphold a reputation within the healthcare community. Within a PIP, one crucial piece is a common challenge – the transition from data collection to actionable insights and tangible performance improvements. 

Several factors can create a challenging environment for any leader or team to see a PIP through to the end. Reasons a plan might fail include team turnover, resource constraints, time sensitivity, staff buy-in, and patient needs. Despite these challenges, hospital success is contingent upon the continuous efforts to identify areas for improvement, so a PIP can be extremely helpful. Using a tool to help with the PIP is a good way to tackle the challenges you might face in implementation.

Here are 6 reasons a PIP tool is essential for the success of a hospital.

1. Quality of Care

Hospitals aim to provide the highest quality of care possible, so identifying areas where improvement is needed should be part of any quality program. Focuses could include patient outcomes, infection control, medication safety, or other aspects of care delivery. A dedicated tool to support the PIP process allows leaders to understand what the data implies, empowering them to focus their team’s time on specific clinical outcomes improvement directly related to historical data. 

2. Regulatory Compliance

With looming regulatory requirements and accreditation standards, hospitals can use a structured PIP to help ensure compliance while reducing risk of penalties, loss of accreditation, or legal issues. For instance, HealthStream’s Quality Manager helps leaders pinpoint areas for improvement, streamline policy changes and departmental improvements, and correct non-compliance with an actionable pathway to success.

3. Patient Safety

PIPs often focus on improving patient safety measures. Projects may include reducing medical errors, preventing falls, minimizing infections, and improving communication among healthcare providers – all crucial elements in maintaining a safe environment for patients. With a clear connection to data, HealthStream’s Quality Manager enables you to coordinate large-scale improvements and developmental needs across teams and enterprise wide.

4. Efficiency and Cost Reduction

Efficiency is the key driver for hospitals to improve care quality but also reduce costs. PIPs help identify inefficient processes that are wasting time and help you implement strategies to streamline your operations, thereby optimizing resource utilization. With the countless time and resources allocated to the PIP process, you shouldn’t have to dedicate additional time and resources to clearly understand what your study is telling you. HealthStream’s Quality Manager standardizes where you’re collecting your PIP information and visualizes your data into actionable next steps.

5. Staff Development and Retention

Desirable culture doesn’t just happen. A healthy, engaged workplace is curated over time by open-minded leaders. Every PIP provides a chance for staff to receive feedback on their performance and participate in improvement initiatives. Clear communication and standardized operations directly lead to increased morale and staff retention. When a team sees their leadership investing in their professional engagement, the workforce becomes more engaged, thus contributing to better patient outcomes.

With HealthStream, there is opportunity to try initiatives that impact issues without wasting money. By discovering the root cause issues and making organizational changes to quality based on data, leaders can foster a culture that prioritizes quality and sustainability.

For example, a 100,000-employee hospital system may notice their workforce satisfaction is less than desirable, negatively affecting retention rates. Tactics to improve retention can be costly, and leaders shouldn’t implement changes and/or policy adjustments without confidence their decisions will lead to improvements in staff morale and increased retention. In this instance, the hospital system may consider running a PIP regarding employee satisfaction. They provide free staff lunches every Friday, surveying the satisfaction rates of their staff before the announcement and implementation of the lunches. After a few months, those involved in the PIP may run another employee satisfaction survey. In this example, the free lunches were appreciated but did not make a substantial difference in employees’ desire to remain with the organization. The PIP and the ability to understand what the data is saying about their lunch initiative saves this hospital system from spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on free lunches. 

With HealthStream, there is opportunity to try initiatives that impact issues without wasting money. By discovering the root cause issues and making organizational changes to quality based on data, leaders can foster a culture that prioritizes quality and sustainability. 

6. Reputation and Patient Satisfaction

Hospitals with a strong reputation for continuous improvement are often viewed more favorably by patients, families, and referring physicians. A well-executed PIP can further enhance the hospital’s reputation and contribute to higher levels of patient satisfaction. Given the complexities of the process, it’s challenging to maintain strong engagement, communication, and understanding of a PIP from beginning to end without a standardized order of operations. The Quality Manager PIP tool provides the organization and data visualization leaders need to see a project through to the end and properly communicate PIP findings.

At its core, the Performance Improvement Process (PIP) tool embodies a simple yet profound methodology:

  • Identify areas of concern
  • Remediate quality problems
  • Improve results and quality of care

HealthStream’s Quality Manager solution provides an innovative Performance Improvement Process (PIP) tool serving as the missing link in the quality management chain. By transforming data into strategic next steps, Quality Manager’s PIP tool helps you interpret data spreadsheets, empowering you and your team with the tools necessary for measurable success.

Read more about Quality Manager and how HealthStream can help you build a culture of quality and sustainability while supporting your initiatives.

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