“Different organizations used different tools, so one of the first things we had to do was find one set of measures so we could compare apples to apples,” said Rulon Stacey, UC Health president. “There was some tension to get the organizations to agree on which ones we'd use, but one of the things we're pretty adamant about is that we only use one measure or standard.”
Some physicians may still derisively refer to the use of evidence-based standards as “cookbook medicine” or argue that standardization stifles innovation, but Dr. Kedar Mate, vice president of the Cambridge, Mass.-based Institute for Healthcare Improvement, said the evidence is overwhelming that in healthcare—or any industry—standardizing parts, processes and people's roles reduces defects. In healthcare, that translates into reduced patient harm.
“The degree of belief in standardization is rising, but there still needs to be local translation to what it means for quality,” Mate said.
Stacey said his goal is that “customers” receive the same level of high-quality care no matter which UC Health facility they visit. He added that he's heard the pro- and the anti-standardization doctors use the same arguments against each other. “They point to each other and say the other is sacrificing the patient for their own benefit,” Stacey said. “So, if they say, 'My way is better,' they have to show me the data to prove it.”