Transparency in Clinical Quality Indicators: The Future is Now

I have just returned from our Healthcare Executive Forum event in Minneapolis. More than 30 customers came from across Minnesota and Kansas, from Allina to Mayo, to join us at the Grand Hotel. It’s terrific to see so many folks from the c-suite as well as so many clinical executives at our HEF events this year. Clearly, Information Technology is no longer a topic of interest only to the CIO.


I was joined at the podium by Dr. Steve Hester, Chief Medical Information Officer for Norton Healthcare, a five-hospital system serving Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Dr. Hester shared his organization’s latest efforts to make key performance indicators and quality initiatives more transparent to community members, payors, patients and clinical staff. Working with Microsoft partner Quilogy and using Share Point portal server, SQL reporting and other MS technologies, Norton is publishing nearly 300 real-time quality indicators for the whole world to see. According to Dr. Hester, the initiative is having the desired effect. Patients and potential patients are surfing the Norton site. More importantly, clinical departments are now competing with one another to maintain high scores, and medical staff members are incorporating more best practices into the care they provide.


Transparency in healthcare quality indicators will become more common as hospitals look to distinguish themselves in an era of healthcare business coalitions, healthcare savings accounts and consumer directed plans. Congratulations to Norton Healthcare and other organizations that are publishing their quality scores in order to provide safer, more cost-effective care for their patients. Congratulations also to Quilogy for helping our customers receive even greater value from Microsoft technologies in healthcare.


What do you think? Let us know.


Next week, I'm off to TETHIC in Washington, D.C., for a joint presentation with Intel, MIT AgeLab, and the NHS Department of Health. On December 8th, our Healthcare Executive Forum hits Seattle/Bellevue. Have a great weekend.



Bill Crounse, MD, Director, Microsoft Healthcare and Life Sciences