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Provide a 2 pages analysis while answering the following question: Comparative Data in Healthcare. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide. An abstract is requ

Provide a 2 pages analysis while answering the following question: Comparative Data in Healthcare. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide. An abstract is required. Comparative Data in Healthcare

Increasing calls for transparency and quality in healthcare delivery has been central in the current wave of healthcare reforms among many healthcare facilities in the USA (Zwijnenberg et al, 2012). As a result, emphasis is given to the use of comparative data in improving quality and performance of caregivers in these institutions. Comparative data employs the use of routine information to compare the level of quality given by different healthcare providers (Goodroe, 2010). Comparative data is useful to healthcare funders such as the government as well as the patient in-need of care. The use of such information can help healthcare funders as well as practitioners identify problem areas in clinical performance and enhance quality improvement strategies (Powell, Davies, & Thomson, 2003). On the other hand, patient benefit by having the capacity to make informed choices of a care provider based quality standards and competitive costs (Davies, & Marshall, 1999).

There are several ways in which comparative data is useful in improving quality and performance in health care organizations (Powell, Davies, & Thomson, 2003). Comparative data is efficient in pointing out problems related to clinical performance. Even though, outcome of quality of care given to a patient is easily measured as a whole, analyzing performance data of an individual practitioner can shade some the light. Quality of clinical performance can also be measured using comparative data across departments of different hospitals. For instance survival or a recovery rate of patients admitted to cardiac and orthopaedic surgery across different hospitals can be compared to rate clinical performance (Goodroe, 2010).

Comparative data is also useful in informing and driving quality improvement activities in a healthcare organization (Powell, Davies, & Thomson, 2003). Such data provides useful and specific information on quality improvement strategies used by best performing institutions. Even though quality improvement is a standard goal for all healthcare institution, directing quality improvement activities to specific areas may be handy in attaining cost-effective quality. For example, more resources may be allocated to a specific department identified as having poor performance than the rest of all departments that record excellent performance.

Apart from providing informed decisions, comparative data can also prompt reflections in clinical performance. This is especially useful to individual practitioners when such data provides an avenue to compare individual performance. The institution as a whole can also use such data to evaluate their progress towards attaining their goals and achieving their mission (Goodroe, 2010). Research is a key component of improving healthcare, and as a result, the use of comparative data has become a focus to researchers. The current technological and highly efficient medical interventions in practice today are an outcome of continuous research. The use of comparative data in health organization helps in the identification of important issues for research (Powell, Davies, & Thomson, 2003). For instance significant variation in performance compared across institutions can form the basis of scientific enquiries that will further improve healthcare.

Managers of healthcare organizations have the responsibility of running the institutions and, therefore, influence their performance. Managers have the responsibilities of initiating, running and maintaining programs for collecting analyzing and interpreting comparative data. In situations where such data is collectively processed and analyzed, for instance, by a federal agent managers need to implement programs and administrative units that will collaborate with these institutions. The common aim of health organizations is to improve the wellbeing of its community, and as professionals can compare their performance in a bid to achieve such aims. Personally I would evaluate and compare my performance based on a standard and measurable outcome with those of my colleagues both internally and externally. Such analysis provides opportunities for learning and improvement.


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Powell, A.E, Davies, H., T., O., & Thomson, R., G., (2003). Using routine comparative data to

Assess the quality of health care: understanding and avoiding common pitfalls. Quality and Safe Health Care. 12:122-128.

Zwijnenberg et al. (2012). Understanding and using comparative healthcare information. the

effect of the amount of information and consumer characteristics and skills.

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