On Tuesday Dec. 9, the Washington Health Alliance, in partnership with Healthier Washington, released its 2015 Community Checkup Report, “Measuring Health Care in Washington State.”
This is a broad and fascinating look at health care in Washington State. The report introduces metrics on the state’s newly adopted common measure set for health care quality and cost. It includes measures from hospitals, medical groups and health plans. It also looks at preventive measures — those things that, if we do well, will reduce our likelihood of disease and disability — and reports them in the new regional areas used for the Accountable Communities of Health. Their findings will help guide the state and its many partners in identifying and implementing the best practices of medicine.
It is thrilling to me to see how far our state has come in the last 10 years toward developing data-driven health care policies, practices and payments. A dozen years ago, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement launched its 100,000 Lives Campaign. Now a historic landmark of quality improvement, the campaign spurred national and local attention to key safety issues. WSHA began our patient safety program soon after, committing to a process that is both collaborative and transparent.
The Healthier Washington plan is tremendous in its scope and ambition. Washington State is doing significantly better than the national average on many measures, but the state is aiming to be in the top 10 percentile. That’s a huge reach, especially since we hope that all states are improving, but we understand ambition. We mirror it in our own work where WSHA’s goal is to totally eliminate preventable healthcare associated infections.
We are proud to be an active partner in Healthier Washington and to bring what we know about care improvement to the table. Congratulations to the HCA, the alliance and the many other partners in this historic work.
Senior Vice President, Policy Development