Healthcare leaders in 2014 have a plethora of critical issues to tackle. A key challenge is how to cut costs to offset dwindling reimbursements without compromising patient care. There are an increasing number of hospitals taking a hard look at variations in care: using retrospective patient data to chart which protocols produce the best outcomes. These data-driven initiatives are producing an exciting intersection of quality and cost savings that improve patient outcomes and cut down on unnecessary prescriptions, tests, and procedures.
A few weeks ago, the Journal of the American Pediatrics Association published a new study showing substantial diversity in how hospitals treat and manage tonsillitis. The study showed that in some facilities, as many as 13 percent of children suffered complications, whereas in others the rate was only 3 percent. Why the difference?