Variation in Healthcare Practice and Implications for Quality
VARIATION IN HEALTHCARE PRACTICE AND IMPLICATIONS FOR QUALITY 1
Variation in Healthcare Practiceand Implications for Quality
It is widely known that there are massive variations in severalaspects of healthcare and clinical practice. Furthermore, there exista general frustration that good practice is not implementedeverywhere. Regardless of the sweeping claim of evidence-basedclinical and healthcare, medical practice and healthcare servicedelivery remains experimental and is prone to differences in processand outcome. The variations can be enlightening when it comes todefining the determinants of quality and going through thedistinctive characteristics of patients, healthcare institutions, aswell as the regions of the country. However, variations should not betranslated to mean that best practices are impossible to adoptuniformly. Unique situations, nevertheless, are important to consider(Spath, 2013). This paper looks at variations in process, outcomes,and performance, as well as its implication of the quality ofhealthcare services offered.
Variation is the difference between a pragmatic event and a typicalnorm. There are several types of variations in health care and areclassified as random, outcome, process, and performance. Inexplicablevariation in all aspects of healthcare practice is inevitable due toits complexity as well as the impracticality or unfeasibility ofcontrolling all the variables that that may cause it. Many variationsmay be explained by the individualities of individual patients or bydissimilarities in the capability clinicians. A substantial number ofvariation will be authentic and even appropriate: for instance, itmight not be wise to tell slower surgeons to move faster simply.Process variation means the different utilization of a therapeutic ordiagnostic or procedure which may still produce the same outcomes.Process variation should not be confused with variation in technique.The procedures may be used in an organization, regional, or othercategories of healthcare providers. A good example of processvariation is that of conducting sigmoidoscopy, occult blood test,colonoscopy, or a blend of these procedures in the diagnosis ofcolorectal cancer. Normally, there are several ways in which aprocedure may be carried out that remain within the boundaries ofacceptable health care practice(Joshi, Ransom, Nash & Ransom2014).
Outcome variation refers to the different outcomes or results fromthe same process. It occurs when differing outcomes follow from aparticular process. This type of variation is more often the emphasisof medical and healthcare research because the researchers andscientists are always on the lookout for the processes that yield thebest results. Variation in outcomes can be attributed to differencesin experimental knowledge, varying rates of diffusion andimplementation of technology. Performance variation is described byJoshi et al. (2014) as the most significant classification that isapplicable to quality improvement in medical and healthcare. It canalso be said to be the difference between a particular result and theideal result. Debatably, performance variation is the mostsignificant category of variation in healthcare. Performancevariation also provides an important topic for further research onthe causes of variation as well as possible routes to improvement(Joshi et al., 2014).
In addition to the above-mentioned variation is the variation ofmedical practice amongst the healthcare service providers. Thisvariation, though stereotypically within the acceptance limits ofpractice, may be subjective to local demands, resources, healthcareorganizational, and environmental constrictions. Good practicescontribute to the improvement of clinical guidelines, standards, aswell as core measures. The problem comes up when there is a need toadopt a new best practice or set of primary measure standards amongpractitioners and other personnel who have gotten used to certainways of practicing, which leads to possible overstretching healthcareorganizations and service providers (AHA, 2008). The leadership ofhealthcare organizations can be most significant in progressingquality initiatives and assisting in overcoming the apathy orinactivity exhibited by some healthcare providers.
Variation impacts nearly every key performance measure, as well aseach of the primary dimensions of a good healthcare system. All thethree categories of variations are at work here and are necessary tounderstand and manage. Importantly, these variations affect clinicaloutcomes as well as parity in access to care. Principles such asstandardization, process simplification and decreasing of all formsof inefficiency can lead minor errors and provide the providers moretime to interrelate with patients (IOM, 2001). Also, the Healthcaremanagers, medical researchers, as well individual patients shouldwork closely to understand and manage.
There are massive variations in several aspects of healthcare andclinical practice. Regardless of the sweeping claim of evidence-basedclinical and healthcare, medical practice and healthcare servicedelivery remains experimental and is prone to differences in processand outcome. Variation is the difference between a pragmatic eventand a typical norm. There are several types of variations in healthcare and are classified as random, outcome, process, and performance.A substantial number of these variations is authentic and evenappropriate. Process variation means the different utilization of atherapeutic or diagnostic or procedure which may still produce thesame outcomes. Outcome variation refers to the different outcomes orresults from the same process. It occurs when different outcomesfollow from a particular process. Performance variation is describedby Joshi et al. (2014) as the most significant classification thatapplies to quality improvement in medical and healthcare. There isalso a variation of practice amongst the healthcare serviceproviders. Variation impacts nearly every key performance measure, aswell as each of the key dimensions of a good healthcare system.
American Hospital Association (AHA). (2008). Redundant, inconsistentand excessive: Administrative demands overburden hospitals.TrendWatch. Retrieved fromhttp://www.aha.org/research/reports/tw/twjuly2008admburden.pdf
Institute of Medicine (IOM). (2001). Crossing the quality chasm: Anew health system for the 21st century. Washington, DC: NationalAcademies Press.
Joshi, M., Ransom, E., Nash, D., & Ransom, S. (Eds.). (2014). Thehealthcare quality handbook: Vision, strategy and tools (3rded.). Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press.
Spath, P. (2013). Introduction to healthcare quality management(2nd ed.). Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press.
No related posts.