Quality control is applicable to any kind of enterprise. In fact, it must be applied in every enterprise. – Kaoru Ishikawa

As home healthcare becomes more prevalent with our aging population, consumers pursuing home-based care arrangements for loved ones with home healthcare providers,  will seek out strong home healthcare quality measurements. A quality measure is a metric that demonstrates how well a provider is delivering the care that consumers need. This type of metric is calculated by taking a snapshot of each visit and dividing it by the number of home health visits. It is a very useful tool for comparing different home health care providers, and how consumers will effectively value your HHA organization. There are a variety of quality measures available, and it is important to know which ones are relevant to your needs.

Today, we’ll take a look at 5 major HHA Quality Metrics.

Patient Safety Measures:

  • % of patients needing emergent care for wound infections or deteriorating wound status.
  • % of patients who require emergent care from a hospital, doctor, or outpatient department/clinic for any type of emergency.

Effectiveness Measures:

  • % of patients showing improvement in, for example,
    • Ambulation/locomotion.
    • Bathing.
    • Management of oral medications.
    • Status of surgical wounds.
    • Urinary incontinence.

Patient-Centeredness Measures:

  • % of patients reporting that home health providers treated them as gently as possible.
  • % of patients reporting that home health providers talked with them about their medications and pain.

Efficiency Measures:

  • % of patients admitted or readmitted to an acute care hospital

Descriptive Measures:

While not associated with any particular IOM domain, descriptive measures can convey the home health agency’s capacity for providing quality of care and service. Examples include:

  • Medicare-covered services offered by the agency.
  • The ownership of the home health agency.
  • When the agency was originally certified by Medicare as a home health provider.
Source: https://www.ahrq.gov/talkingquality/measures/setting/long-term-care/home-health/examples.html

Although private payers may not seek to mirror Medicare home healthcare quality measures, these CMS guidelines can offer a good starting point for assessing quality in value-based home healthcare arrangements.

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