At our meeting on Friday, November 17, we focused on how, and whether, advancements in health care technology demonstrably affect the quality of health care, especially in hospital settings.
This is a controversial and important subject especially in light of pay for performance initiatives, voluntary reporting, and in the context of purchasing decisions providers are making about new technology. The questions include 1) what types of technology can have an effect on quality?, 2) how much data is available to demonstrate such effects? 3) what effect do such measures have on reimbursement? and 4) how can purchase and maintenance contracts be structured to incentivize vendors toward improved quality?
Our speakers included Kaveh Safavi, the Medical Director of Solucient, Inc., which contracts with hundreds of hospitals across the nation to measure and analyze quality and efficiency. We also had a presentation from Bobbi Griffith from Siemens and John Nicholson of Pillbury Winthrop, who discussed VHC's recent IT purchasing contract with Siemens and its provisions to define and economically reward quality improvements. Also participating via videoconference was John Glaser, the CIO of the Partners Health System in Boston, who discussed the ways in which that system is utilizing and implementing technology improvements in connection with quality of care improvements.