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People in the News

August 1, 2006
by root
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Intermountain Health Care invests in technology to help with business-continuity planning.

Majority Rules: QIOs Improve Care

Three out of four stakeholders in healthcare improvement agree that “providers are providing better care because of QIOs,” according to a new survey. The program studied stakeholders working closely with Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) to improve care for Medicare beneficiaries.

“These findings are a strong endorsement of the value QIOs provide to those at the front lines of the effort to improve health care quality,” says David Schulke, executive vice president of the American Health Quality Association (AHQA). “No healthcare professional has time anymore to voluntarily work with someone who doesn't bring value.”

The survey, “Stakeholder Survey: Baseline Study Report,” was conducted in January and February 2006 by Westat, an independent company under contract to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). A second survey is scheduled for 2007 as part of CMS' overall performance evaluation of QIOs in their current contract, which runs from 2005 to 2008.

Westat interviewed more than 1,300 small, medium, and large stakeholders nationwide, asking questions covering four major topic areas: knowledge of QIO activities, satisfaction with QIO information and assistance, perceived value of the QIO, and interactions with the QIO. Among other results, the survey shows that:

  • 91 percent found the information and assistance provided by their QIO valuable

  • 90 percent were satisfied with all interactions and partnerships with their QIO

  • Of those respondents who have an “on-going partnership” with their QIO – nearly all (98 percent) reported being satisfied with QIO efforts, including 84 percent who were very satisfied

Forecasting for Success

Pittsburgh-headquartered Development Dimensions International has its eye on how effective healthcare professionals are.

Based on findings from a report involving 504 leaders and 93 HR representatives in the healthcare industry, Health Care Global Comparison Leadership Forecast 2005/2006 Best Practice for Tomorrow's Global Leaders by Paul Bernthal, Richard Wellins and Debra Walker examines the role of HR in leadership development.

Their findings included answers to such questions as how effective healthcare leaders are.

The study reported that “HR professionals and leaders have the greatest confidence in mid- and senior-level leaders and the lowest confidence in first-level leaders. Overall, healthcare is more confident in its leadership than are other industries.”

The full report which addresses issues such as how "in healthcare, most leaders fail because they have poor people skills or they are a poor fit with the organizational culture,” why "compared to other industries, turnover in healthcare is higher among first-level leaders and is lower among senior-level leaders,” and can be viewed at