When assessing practices in any medical setting, the focus of any evaluation is on what services the medical practice provides. Although the quality of the actual medical services provided by the medical center may not be up to par, if the service provided to patients is meeting the standards set forth by the medical staff at the facility, then there will be nothing to evaluate at all.
It is important for any medical facility to follow a specific method when it comes to conducting assessments. Some centers do not require a lot of information to conduct an assessment and others may require more detailed information, but there are other centers that do not need any information at all in order to determine the value of a particular practice. The type of assessment that is conducted is usually very similar across different facilities and will typically require one or more of the following: an interview, patient surveys, questionnaires, or an observation. Any assessment that does not contain these three steps will be deemed unsatisfactory and will not be considered successful by many organizations.
There are some types of assessments that are not required by some facilities and will only be performed if a practice is judged to be substandard or if an examination is needed in order to provide support to a physician. These include clinical ratings, peer reviews, cost savings analyses, quality improvement plans, and even complaints or concerns about a specific practice. The reason why some assessment programs are not necessary can be explained by how much time and money is spent on these types of evaluations. For most facilities, the amount of money spent on evaluating a practice is insignificant and can easily be afforded by a patient.
All assessment programs are not created equally. Some centers will spend thousands of dollars on evaluations while other centers will use only a few hundred dollars. It is always important to consider the type of evaluation that a facility will do in terms of quality before determining the costs involved.
One of the biggest problems with some of the evaluations that centers provide is that they are focused on a practice’s level of success and not on the specific problems that are causing them to fail. For example, a practice that has a lot of patients with low incomes will often be given a higher rating than a practice that sees a lot of patients with a middle-class income. This is because the middle class patient will usually be in a position to pay higher premiums and can therefore save a lot of money through the insurance company’s network.
Another problem that exists with some of these assessments is that they do not focus on the entire health care team in the medical center. It is important for any practice to be able to reach out to all aspects of the practice, but it is also important that a medical staff member from the practice be allowed to attend the evaluation.
One of the biggest issues in using these assessments is that many centers are only evaluating the practices that are located in a particular area of the office or clinic. It is possible for a practice to be evaluated but not be found to be in compliance with all of the standards or even meet some of them. Much of the time, a practice that is located in a doctor’s office may fail the evaluation because the employees within the practice are not comfortable with the process or are unfamiliar with the type of care being provided.