Stories about: Sara Toomey

What can patients’ tweets teach us about their health care experiences?

Twitter birds wire patient experience survey

Hospitals, doctors and the health care system as a whole have become ever more focused on measuring the quality of the care patients receive. And with good reason: as the system leans ever more towards tying reimbursements to quality, everyone recognizes that you can’t improve quality if you’re not measuring it.

Of the many ways one can look at quality in an inpatient setting, patient experience has earned a lot of attention. Hospitals, payors, survey vendors and government agencies are spending millions to develop, deploy and analyze tools like the adult and child  Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and System (HCAHPS) surveys, which give voice to patients and their concerns about the care they receive.

Are there other ways to hear what patients are saying? Jared Hawkins, MMSc, PhD, of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Computational Health Informatics Program (CHIP), Boston Children’s chief innovation officer, John Brownstein, PhD, and their colleagues wanted to see whether they could harness the power of social media—specifically, Twitter—to supplement survey-based methods. Their data, published in the journal BMJ Quality & Safety, give encouraging hints, but it’s too early to retire those patient surveys just yet. …Read More

Implementing national benchmarks for pediatric care quality

Child HCAHPS patient experience survey Mark Schuster Sara Toomey CEPQM

You can’t improve what you can’t measure: This is the core principle of national, state and local efforts to increase health care quality and safety. While adult health care has benefitted for many years from a variety of measures of quality and safety, though, pediatrics has generally lagged behind.

In 2011, the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the Pediatric Quality Measures Program (PQMP), a group of seven centers of excellence tasked with developing measures and measurement tools for different aspects of pediatric care. Those measures are starting to come online, with a survey developed by the Center of Excellence for Pediatric Quality Measurement (CEPQM) at Boston Children’s Hospital being one of the first out of the gate. …Read More