Dr. Rohit Bhalla discusses how Bridges To Excellence (BTE) recognition has allowed providers to measure their performance and focus on evidence-based standards.
Organization: Montefiore Medical Center
Number of Patients: Medium
In your view, what are the most important measurements of quality of care required by the BTE Diabetes Care Recognition Program?
All of the parameters assessed by the BTE Diabetes Care Recognition Program are important, as they follow evidence-based guidelines for diabetes mellitus care. In preventing cardiovascular and end-organ disease, the “ABC’s” of HgbA1c, blood pressure, and cholesterol control are of primary importance.
How will BTE recognition help you enable better care for diabetes patients? Are there any specific positive changes in patients’ health outcomes that you are now expecting to see?
The BTE recognition has been a significant achievement for Montefiore. The recognition allowed us to clearly assess and validate our performance. It has strengthened the commitment of Montefiore physicians to deliver superior diabetes care. We are striving to maintain and improve this performance and hope to ultimately see reductions in rates of kidney disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Did compiling the data for BTE’s evaluation help you better organize your patients’ information, or did you already have an electronic record system in place?
Montefiore built upon its existing electronic clinical information and medical record systems to facilitate data capture, and leveraged the capabilities of its performance improvement and data analysis groups for BTE evaluation purposes.
In what ways did you or Montefiore Medical Center have to adjust policies or practices in order to achieve BTE recognition?
We did not need to make specific adjustments, as the BTE data submission requirements aligned well with our data requirements for creating provider performance reports.
In your opinion, what is the overall value of recognition programs for diabetes care? Do they encourage providers to adhere to the most updated standards or routines? Does such recognition make it easier to remember to perform needed tests or take certain measurements?
These programs allow practices to focus and prioritize evidence-based care standards and validate efforts practices make to improve quality of care. As health care is complex and providers are focused on individual patients, there are few opportunities to take a step back to assess how a practice or delivery system is performing as a whole. The usage of evidence-based performance measures, standardized specifications, and external review allows for a rigorous assessment of processes of care, much as board certification serves as a structural measure. Public recognition of excellence in care promotes provider engagement in quality improvement, patient decision making, and payer insight into the value of services provided.