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PCPI at 20: New Needs, New Mission

Tuesday, January 21, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kasia Januszewski
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PCPI at 20: New Needs, New Mission

Published January 21, 2020 on

Diverse Board embraces empowerment, collaboration and rigorous science to better patient outcomes in an increasingly value-driven healthcare environment

A generation ago, the American Medical Association convened the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement to promote health care quality improvement. The primary goal was creating evidence-based, reliable, valid, clinically actionable, quality measures that did not then exist for many specialties and conditions.

Partnering primarily with clinical specialty societies, PCPI has since developed more than 350 measures used every day to improve health care services and patient outcomes, and meet government and payer quality reporting requirements – an unmatched record of success in clinician-level quality measurement that has profoundly affected today’s health care environment.

During these two decades, times and needs changed. PCPI changed in response:

  • In 2011, PCPI helped launch the National Quality Registry Network to support the growing need for clinical registries, and incorporated NQRN as a core program in 2016.
  • In 2013, PCPI added quality improvement services to help clinicians harness measure data to improve care processes and outcomes.
  • In 2015, came the biggest change. Recognizing the need for greater collaboration among clinicians, patients, payers, regulators and purchasers in an increasingly value-driven health environment, the PCPI Board expanded membership to include non-clinicians and established The PCPI Foundation as an entity independent of the AMA.

As PCPI celebrates its 20th year, the Board again is rededicating the organization to meet emerging urgent needs. This time the goal is building closer collaboration that weaves effective measure development, data capture and data-driven clinical quality improvement into the fabric of increasingly complex, value-driven health systems. “That requires buy-in at the start, in development, in use and in continuous revision of measures by clinicians, patients, their families, payers, buyers, regulators and anyone else with a stake in health outcomes,” said Martha J. Radford, MD, FACC, FAHA and PCPI’s new Board Chair.

“With growing representation of business, payer, IT and patient interest groups on the Board, and with a formal advocacy program for systematically engaging regulators and legislators in place, PCPI is well positioned for success,” Dr. Radford added.

To guide the effort, this historically diverse PCPI board, which now includes the UnitedHealth Group, Leapfrog Group and Informed Patient Institute in addition to the AMA and several clinical societies, is focusing on the fundamentals of success, starting with a new mission statement.

 PCPI Mission – What We Do: We advance health by supporting physicians, health professionals and other key stakeholders to deliver care that has meaningful outcomes for the people they serve.

“As value-based care systems evolve, it’s becoming clearer that the people we serve – primarily patients and their families, but also community groups, employers and society as a whole – are the ones who really decide which care and outcomes are valuable,” Dr. Radford explained. “PCPI adds unique value in developing and supporting clinician-level quality measurement, and by convening clinicians and other diverse stakeholders throughout the process. We make sure care of real value is identified, measured and presented in ways that help us all do a better job. That requires not only clinical knowledge but also a high degree of technical expertise to design measures that can be used to improve care.”

All this is directed toward a single goal, captured in PCPI’s new vision statement.

 PCPI Vision – What We Strive Toward: A health care system where physicians, health professionals and patients work collaboratively to optimize health.

“It’s a stretch goal that seems abstract, but it is fundamental. It is the lens through which all measures and the processes they support should be seen,” Dr. Radford said.

Among other things, this means developing measures, as well as data collection, evaluation and performance improvement systems that are usable and support real value to real patients in the real world. For example, replacing a dichotomous measure such as a single hemoglobin A1c target value with a requirement to customize treatment to achieve patient-specific goals, such as achieving patient-tailored diabetes treatment.

Providing further guidance, the PCPI Board developed principles and values, with action statements clarifying the meaning of each.

 PCPI Principles and Values – How We Reach Our Goal:

 Empower physicians, health professionals and patients

  • We equip physicians, health professionals and patients with tools and resources to navigate an evolving quality landscape.

“The right tools make it easier to do the job right,” Dr. Radford noted.

 Emphasize innovation

  • We champion systems that support the delivery of high-quality care including methods that deliver information to the right place at the right time to make a difference for patients.

“This requires creatively merging disciplines from clinical medicine to statistical measure design to process and IT systems engineering – all strengths PCPI brings to the table,” Dr. Radford said.

 Promote scientific excellence

  • We advance scientifically valid, rigorous, effective, measurement methods.
  • We believe in responsive measurement that aligns with the care physicians and health professionals provide and is actionable to effect improvement.

“To be useful a measure must be scientifically sound,” Dr. Radford said.

 Champion equity and fairness

  •  We advocate for effective, equitable and responsive health care policy.
  • We advocate for accountability measurement systems that judge physician and health professional performance accurately.

“Equity and fairness are essential goals in themselves. They are also necessary to ensure our work is valuable and sustainable,” said Dr. Radford.

 Embrace professionalism

  • We foster the intrinsic motivations of physicians and health professionals to improve care, advance science and optimize outcomes.

“Clinician commitment to do right by patients one of our most valuable assets,” Dr. Radford said.

 Encourage collaboration and alignment

  •  We encourage and applaud individual physicians and care teams that are motivated to achieve shared goals within and across settings to achieve coordinated, high-quality care.

“Effective collaboration is what it’s all about,” Dr. Radford said.

 Adhering to these goals and principles well prepare PCPI to support members and other stakeholders in improving patient care and outcomes. They will guide PCPI’s work going forward. How they play out varies from case to case. In the coming months we will examine in more detail what these concepts mean and how they are working in practice. Watch this space for updates.

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