Williamstown Medical of BMC believes that physicians should take the lead in improving the quality of healthcare and has been committed to innovation and quality improvement since its founding in 1958.
According to the Institute of Medicine, much of the opportunity for quality improvement today comes not from improving the skills of individual practitioners (although that too is important) but from improving systems of care, teamwork, and communication. Accordingly, in 2008, following the installation of an electronic medical record as part of the $50 million Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative, we embarked on a major quality of care initiative focused on patients with diabetes mellitus.
The Diabetes Initiative is a project that seeks to improve the health of our diabetic patients by reducing complications such as vision loss, nerve damage, kidney failure, and heart disease. The Diabetes Initiative is the cornerstone in our efforts to do our part to transform medical practice and better serve all of our patients.
Our quality improvement efforts also extend to improved methods for monitoring and collecting data on preventive health measures such as immunizations, mammograms, colonoscopies, and others. But most importantly,we are a group of clinicians that value continuous learning. Our departments meet regularly to discuss quality issues and always our clinicians are eager to help colleagues with a difficult case.
The field of quality improvement in healthcare is growing and changing rapidly. There is, however, no concensus as to the best methods. Many highly promoted strategies including pay-for-performance and physician tiering are deeply flawed or have generated unintended consequences. At Williamstown Medical of BMC, we believe that the best way to improve care is to empower local clinicians to safeguard the health and well-being of their patients using national guidelines, improved teamwork, and population management, all the while keeping the needs of individual patients foremost in mind.