Exploring the Quadruple Aim – Improving Health Outcomes

Exploring the Quadruple Aim – Improving Health Outcomes

September 21, 2021
September 21, 2021

Understanding that healthcare quality had plummeted to an unacceptable level, its improvement has been a major focus of the U.S. healthcare industry since at least 1999, when To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System was published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). After several iterations and significant research, the current framework for making healthcare better, adopted widely by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and other institutions, is commonly known as the “Quadruple Aim.”

Improving health outcomes is a key component of the effort to make care quality better

This blog post continues our blog series based on the HealthStream eBook, The Quadruple Aim, which focuses on improving and reforming U.S. healthcare. This post takes a brief look into how healthcare outcomes can be improved.

The U.S. spends nearly twice as much as the average highly developed country on healthcare yet has the lowest life expectancy and highest suicide rates among its peer nations. At the same time, we have the highest chronic disease burden, and our obesity rate is twice the average of countries within our cohort. Furthermore, the U.S. has among the highest number of hospitalizations from preventable causes and the highest rate of avoidable deaths.

How to improve healthcare outcomes in the U.S.

One key to better outcomes in this country is moving away from traditional fee-for-service models of care to a value-based reimbursement system that rewards patient outcomes rather than merely the volume of care provided. One way to reset the industry is to focus on population health management and focus on making progress against the following factors:

  • Behaviors such as tobacco use, alcohol or drug use, diet, exercise, etc. 
  • Clinical care including access to care and the quality of the care provided 
  • Social and economic factors such as education, income, and family support 
  • Physical environment components, including the quality of air, water, housing and transportation 

One of the main reasons progress on population health management has stalled in recent years is that most healthcare organizations still need the data and analytic tools needed to assess risk in their communities. In addition to the potential improvement of individual patient outcomes that could result from greater reliance on a population health management approach, the industry as a whole could benefit by reining in costs, improving affordability and access, and going further in terms of addressing risk factors to a far greater extent.

Even in the midst of a challenging moment in healthcare, many people are working to find ways to make caregiving more effective and successful in the future. Download the Quadruple Aim eBook to learn more about each Aim and how HealthStream has mapped multiple solutions to each of these critical issues. 

From solutions with a focus ranging from clinical development and reimbursement to quality and performance management, HealthStream is dedicated to improving patient outcomes through the development of healthcare organizations’ greatest asset: their people.

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