Tracking and measuring patient outcomes continues to play an increasingly important role in cardiopulmonary rehab certification, quality measurement and insurance reimbursements. However, it can be difficult for programs to know how to begin tracking and where to focus improvement efforts.
To help, we’ve recently released a guide to tracking and improving performance. You can visit our educational library to download a free copy of this guide. Here is a brief overview of the topics we cover:
Why should you track?
The ability to track patient and program data helps demonstrate that your program improves outcomes and adds value to the hospital system as a whole. Tracking can also help you pinpoint the areas of your program that need improvement so you can create a plan.
What should you track?
Most programs have preferred measurements based on their program’s patient population. At a minimum, programs should track and report on:
- How many patients are referred to the program
- How many of those patients enroll in rehab
- How many patients graduate
- How many are readmitted into the hospital during the program
Aside from these measures, most programs collect individual patient and program outcomes in each of four categories: (1) Medical, (2) Functional Capacity, (3) Psychosocial, (4) Dietary.
How should you track?
There are a variety of ways to track data, from Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to more advanced options, including the AACVPR Registry. The Registry provides the ability to benchmark your program’s data with data from programs in your state and across the country.
Many programs choose to partner with a technology provider like LSI to help automate the outcomes reporting process. Take an in-depth look at LSI’s relationship with the AACVPR Registries in our three-part blog series.
“Data is powerful. It starts with the individual patient, and then aggregate data can be used to help assess overall program effectiveness in achieving the goals of our patients and our programs. The aggregate data of all programs in the registry can help us as a discipline identify what is working and opportunities for improvement. This information can help us continually improve our practice that leads back to the original purpose – provide the best quality of patient care.”
-Bonnie K. Sanderson, RN, PhD, MAACVPR, Auburn University, Past Committee Co-Chair Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab Registry
We’re tracking…now what?
Once you’ve measured and tracked your outcomes data, the next step is to report on your performance data at regular intervals so you can track improvements over time to build credibility with hospital administration. You can also share your data and success rates with potential patients and referring providers to continue to boost participation and referrals.
For more in-depth information about how to track and improve outcomes, visit our educational library to request your free copy of this guide.