Pay-for-performance is a buzzword in many industries. It is an alternative to fee-for-service, which simply rewards doctors (or providers of services) for providing as many services as possible, regardless of the outcomes. Pay-for-performance, however, rewards doctors and other individuals who provide optimal care with demonstrable improvements. Given the rapid rise in the cost of medicine and simultaneous reduction in nurse and patient ratios, hospital services, and other significant indicators of quality in America, it is understandable that pay-for-performance is becoming more popular. Physicians are struggling to provide high quality care because they have been forced to provide more for less. Payments have decreased while office overhead and the cost of living have risen, and malpractice insurance premiums have spiraled out of control. Billion-dollar insurance companies, large hospital executives and most politicians do not care about doctors or patient outcomes. They care most about their profits, which is why we see so many favor fee-for-service, as opposed to pay-for-performance.
Clearly, the solutions need to be multifaceted, but require reductions in costs, which can be done by streamlining data and increasing efficiency. Electronic medical records (EMR), and data convergence between care providers are important to reduce costs, but these have been made difficult to achieve. Many physicians still do not use an EMR, and many who do are unable to communicate with one another.
Pay-for-performance measures are often envisioned by insurers and governments as the strict adherence to practice guidelines of medical care. Guidelines will likely reduce costs nominally and improve care, but the most important factor in improving care and reducing costs is understanding what is effective and what is not, and applying the results to improving Medical care. Only patient derived data may be used to effectively alter and improve patient care.
The connection between medical care and validated patient outcomes is only possible through physician initiatives, which work towards collaborative data collection and analysis. This has the potential to rapidly feedback information to improve care and reduce costs while preserving the patient-physician relationship. Our projects as outlined in this site and EKiosk© provide viable, inexpensive solutions to securely collect and analyze validated patient outcomes data using minimal personnel or cost. In addition, we have included many "value-added" features which allow patient demographics, medications, allergies, hospitalizations and more to be collected directly from patients who can input this data into any ODBC compliant EMR. We have built a generic "importer," which allows offices to maintain their current billing system and constantly convert patient demographic data into an ODBC compliant EMR. The ultimate result is that Demographic data needs to be entered only once, and may be seen seamlessly by EMR, Outcomes, X-ray PACS or other databases. EKiosk© can also be used to help educate patients using your own content with pictures, multimedia files, or printed educational material with direct patient navigation. Content can be also be built and customized by you using our Form Designer© that uses a simple and direct interface.