The Foundation for Health Care Quality (FHCQ), a nationally recognized not-for-profit based in Seattle, is home to several programs dedicated to reducing variation in outcomes and improving the quality of care for patients. Using a unique model of clinician-led, data-driven collaboration, these clinical quality improvement programs have, for over 20 years, proven effective at promoting the changes which result both in better care for patients and in lower costs.
OB COAP, the Obstetrical Care Outcomes Assessment Program uses provider-specific, chart-abstracted data about the care given during labor, delivery and the postpartum period as the basis for analysis and discussion. Outcomes for newborns are also included. These data are analyzed to evaluate and compare implications of care decisions within the context of factors such as patient risk, demographics, practitioner type, practitioner role, etc. Balancing measures to evaluate both the indended and unintended consequences of changes in practice are also examined. The collaborative nature of OB COAP allows for opportunities to explore methods for actionable and sustainable improvements and FHCQ provides a neutral setting in which to do so.
How does OB COAP make a difference for pregnant people and their babies? Significant variation in care exists. For example – cesarean section rates in Washington State vary between 15% and 48%, regardless of hospital size, patient demographics and risk, practitioner type, use of standardized protocols, or level of care provided.
OB COAP provides an environment that promotes raising quality for everyone. Choosing to deliver a baby at a site that participates in OB COAP can help childbearing people make informed choices and be assured that their practitioner and hospital or community provider of choice are engaged in an ongoing effort to provide the highest quality of care. Just as consumers would not buy an automobile from a company that only tests for safety against its own internal standards; patients are interested in knowing that their healthcare is subject to rigorous external quality measurement as well.
How does OB COAP make a difference for Obstetrical providers and hospitals? By having access to accurate, real-time, clinical data, OB COAP participants can respond to and facilitate changes addressing issues in quality and resource use. The high quality clinical data from OB COAP allow hospitals and providers to be assured that benchmarking and comparison of important metrics and attribution to the appropriate provider are correct. The granularity of the data allows for drill down at the site, provider and patient level to understand not only what is happening, but why. Opportunities for collaboration both within and across participating sites helps ensure consistent quality care for everyone.
Find out more and get involved: we look forward to talking with you and your team to help you understand just how participating in OB COAP can benefit you, your facility and your patients.