Atlas Research issued the following announcement on July 26.
Atlas Research’s Chief Healthcare Transformation Officer and Senior Executive Vice President, Dr. Kenneth W. Kizer, testified before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on Veterans’ timely access to health care.
Dr. Kizer is an internationally respected health care leader who is widely known for engineering the transformation of the Veterans Healthcare System – the nation’s largest healthcare system – in the late 1990s when serving as the VA’s Undersecretary for Health.
In his remarks, he acknowledged that there are no industrywide standards for timely access to care, except for certain well-defined emergent situations in which time to treatment is linked to care outcomes. He stated, that “as a result, numerous different methods are used to assess wait times and access to care, making it difficult to understand and compare the timeliness of care across health systems and among individual providers.”
“Given all that we know about the adverse consequences of untimely or delayed care, it is ironic that of the defining attributes of high-quality health care, timeliness of care is the least-well studied and least-well tracked as a health care performance metric,” said Dr. Kizer.
Dr. Kizer suggests that VA could quickly become the nation’s “gold standard for timely access to care” through taking the following measures.
Combine virtual and in-person care utilizing technology-assisted encounters, face-to-face visits, in-home and group visits, mobile delivery assets, and expanded use of non-physician caregivers, among other means.
Launch a systemwide initiative that would increase the number of encounters by virtual means.
Engage the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to help VA define what 21st century access to care means and to delineate the key operating characteristics and functionalities required to operationalize the definition.
Enlist the help of the National Quality Forum in identifying and endorsing performance measures to monitor and track access to care in ways that are transparent, reliable and understandable.
Increase the use of Veteran-satisfaction measures of access to care, which should be used with wait times data to help with continuous quality improvement.
Call upon VA Health Services Research & Development Service to evaluate the most effective strategies and methods to ensure timely access to care that meet the diverse needs of Veterans in the many varied communities and settings where they live.
Original source can be found here.
Source: Atlas Research