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Reaching Excellence Together

Support the Collection of Better Data

Simply by taking part on the CAHPS patient experience surveys, the region's hospitals and health plans demonstrate commitment to data-driven quality improvement. Reaching for Excellence is committed to furthering this goal by tracking progress over time on this current set of indicators, as well as adding new and more revealing measures of performance in priority areas as they are developed.

The region generally lacks physician level performance data that would allow patients, health plans and hospitals to identify top-performing doctors on the indicators that matter most to them. Western New York health plans, hospitals, physicians and health care planning leaders are already supporting implementation of the CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey, which would generate provider-level information about health care quality on the indicators already used to measure Western New York system performance, while generating new measures for the community's top three priorities.

Among the potential expansions to Reaching for Excellence from this data set are patient wait times in doctor's waiting rooms, how well doctors follow up with patients with results of blood tests, X-rays or other tests, the helpfulness of clerks and receptionists in doctor's offices, how often patients get questions to their doctor asked over the telephone answered on the same day, and how well doctors appear to know important information in a patient's medical history. Health providers should also support the collection and reporting of patient demographics on CAHPS surveys which would support more targeted quality improvement efforts and related outreach in the community.

Local Best Practice

Moving Forward for Physician-Level Data

Together with the P² Collaborative of Western New York, the region's three commercial health plans are exploring region-wide implementation of the CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey in 2010.

Assessing patient experiences with physicians and their office staff, including group practices, individual providers and provider networks, survey findings will guide quality improvement and inform consumers in selecting health care providers. These data enhance My Quality Counts, a web portal allowing physicians to view their aggregated quality measures based on data provided by the three commercial health plans.

WNY Health Care Priorities

Five key health care priorities and their regional performance (...read more)