Imagine flying in a snowstorm with precious cargo that is worth literally millions of dollars. In addition, your instruments have failed and are providing no data from which you could navigate to safety—in essence, you are flying blind. By and large, this is what hospitals are about to begin doing when the new CMS rule takes effect in October linking nurse-sensitive patient outcomes or “never events” with reimbursement.
Hospital systems stand to lose millions of dollars unless we institute ways in which we can rapidly access the necessary information about what nurses specifically do that leads to the prevention of these events or contributes to these failures. For years nursing care has been part of the daily bed charge. But, this new rule puts nursing care front and center in the pay-for-performance movement. How can we avoid flying blind? We offer four interrelated recommendations that will help the industry succeed in general and particularly with this new CMS rule.