The Picker Institute and HBS International, Inc. have decided to join their efforts in the respective fields of patient experience analysis and outcome information gathering to improve patient care in hospitals. HBSI provides outcomes management solutions to over 800 health care facilities to enhance their operational efficiency and overall performance. The Picker Institute in turn constitutes a not for profit affiliate of CareGroup, whose aim consists in approaching the quality of medical care through the patient's eyes. Picker has assessed the health care experiences of about 200.000 different patients at more than 500 hospital institutions. HBSI and Picker will now co-operate to offer a standardized patient survey connecting patient perception data with clinical, functional status and financial information.
Picker's patient surveys have gained an international reputation. As such, they will help both companies to provide online access to patient satisfaction results for health care institutions to compare and analyse their level of performance over time. In this way, the health professionals will be able to take adequate measures for the improvement of patient services. On the other hand, the Picker clients will benefit from a wide range of outcomes management information tools, as developed by HBSI. In addition, Picker will also be allowed to conduct academic research based on the data that are stored in the HBSI National Health care Data Warehouse in order to act as the central resource for information, technical assistance and consulting services.
HBSI is ready to identify its way of doing business with the patient-centred philosophy of the Picker Institute to consider the patient's perspective as the very heart of the quality level evaluation in health care systems. Important to know is what matters to the patient during his hospital stay and which kinds of questions still need an answer at the moment of discharge, Gregg Bennett, HBSI President and Chief Executive Officer explains. Hence the strong motivation of both partners to standardize the complex process of patient-driven survey methods, states Susan Edgman-Levitan, President of the Picker Institute. This approach provides health care facilities with a comparative tool to measure performance outcomes against those of their couterparts.
The alliance between HBSI and Picker is enthusiastically welcomed by the VHA organization, a US nationwide network of more than 1750 community-owned health care institutions and their participating physicians. HBSI already constituted a business partner to the VHA members who now will equally benefit from the value of clinical and financial outcomes data linked with patient satisfaction information, in order to optimize their currently existing clinical improvement programmes. The same goes for Sisters of Providence Health System, which is a health care organization consisting of 19 hospitals, situated on the west coast. For more details on the activities of HBSI, we refer to the article Comparative health care performance information provider delighted with data warehouse system change in the VMW March 1998 issue.