In healthcare settings evidence-based care and clinical practice guidelines are important terms to understand. Both are strategies to ensure that quality care is delivered in healthcare settings such as Guest House.
In 1998, the Institute of Medicine initiated a Committee on the Quality of Health Care in America. The committee was charged with developing a strategy to improve the quality of health care over the next ten years. In order to carry out the charge, the committee commissioned a review of literature on quality care, engaged workshops to identify strategies for raising awareness of quality concerns, developed strategies for fostering greater accountability for quality and identified research that should be pursued to facilitate improvements in quality. As a result the committee established aims for the 21st century healthcare system. To achieve major gains, the committee identified six aims for improvement. Their recommendation was that all healthcare organizations should provide care that pursues the aims noted below:
- Safe care – avoiding injuries to patients from the care that is intended to help them
- Effective care – providing services based upon scientific knowledge and refraining from services not likely to be beneficial
- Patient-centered care – offering services that are respectful and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs and values
- Timely care – reducing wait times and harmful delays for those receiving and providing care
- Efficient care – avoiding waste, in particular waste of equipment, supplies, ideas and energy
- Equitable care – providing services that do not vary in quality because of gender, ethnicity, geographic location and socioeconomic status
Evidenced-based care and/or practice guidelines have become the mechanism for healthcare providers and organizations to pursue these aims as they provide care. Evidence-based care offers a path or guideline for organizations to follow as they work to improve quality care by bridging the gap between practice-research and the best practice of care. When selecting evidenced-based care practices, healthcare organizations should ensure the care they provide addresses the six aims noted above.
How is this goal accomplished at Guest House? Guest House completes a multidisciplinary assessment on all patients, including evaluations by physicians, nurses, therapists, the nutritionist and physical therapists, which determines a comprehensive list of risk factors, patient preferences and clinical needs. These factors are incorporated into an individualized treatment plan that is reviewed regularly by the patient, treatment team and referral source. Guest House utilizes evidence-based modalities in the delivery of all services. Timely and efficient care is achieved in a residential setting by keeping clinical caseloads small and providing the majority of services on the campus. As a private non-profit, all patients receive care regardless of their ability to pay.
For evidence-based care to be meaningfully and successfully translated into practice, an organization must also have a mechanism that incorporates ongoing quality monitoring which promotes continual improvement. This means that best practice or evidence-based care is not just a specific practice per se but is also an organizational agreement about pursuing research-based knowledge and an integrative process for embedding this knowledge into the organization and delivery of health care.
Guest House incorporates a continuous quality improvement process into the overall treatment program. Patients and referents are surveyed at specified points in treatment, including during treatment, at discharge and at each continuing care session. Client satisfaction, referent satisfaction, adherence to the treatment plan and clinical outcomes are measured. Data is compiled and reported to the Board of Trustees on a quarterly basis.
Guest House prides itself on providing current, quality care based on each individual client. For more information about services offered, please visit GuestHouse.org or contact Jeff Henrich, president and CEO, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-393-8913.
Written by Tom Ghena, Lead Therapist, Men’s Program