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HealthJuly 30, 2021

4 steps for driving evidence-based, sustainable care

How do medical leaders optimize the care they’re providing while reining in the cost to deliver it? The solution lies in reducing unwarranted variation in care at key decision points along the care continuum.

How you approach unwarranted variation in care can either help or hinder your efforts. We examine decision points along the care continuum where unwarranted variability is most likely to happen and recommend actions you can take to drive sustainable and effective care.

Drive behaviors that lead to evidence-based decisions

Keeping up with the newest evidence can be a burden for clinicians who are already pressed for time. Even if they find the time, medical literature is complex, often difficult to interpret, and not typically collected in one location.

Since clinical decision-making is rooted in a series of behaviors that can be difficult to change — even when clinicians want to do the right thing — medical leaders can play an important role in championing clinician behaviors that adhere to the best evidence and practice guidelines throughout the decision-making process.

Empower clinicians with the answers they need quickly

Clinicians frequently have questions about patient care during any given day of practice; however, roughly half of the questions are never pursued. Even a small-time savings can mean the difference between a clinician making a decision based on knowledge that may be out of date and making a one that is supported by the latest evidence.

By supporting your care teams with reliable and comprehensive clinical resources that synthesize information and summarize the benefits and risks of a decision, clinicians can get the answers they need at the point of care.

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Encourage collaboration to break down silos

Delivering quality patient care involves constant collaboration among clinicians and across medical disciplines. When decisions are made in silos, unwarranted variations are more likely to occur, impacting patient outcomes and driving up healthcare costs.

To deliver more effective care, reduce unwarranted variations, and rein in costs, decision-making must be aligned and coordinated across the entire care team with everyone working from the same, single source of evidenced-based clinical information.

Champion standardized approaches to reduce unwarranted variability

Ever-expanding clinical information and patients presenting with more complex conditions over time make it challenging for clinicians to determine the right course of action. Clinicians must treat a patient’s condition as well as account for all the other factors going on with the patient.

Clinical pathways can help healthcare organizations adhere to quality measures and guidelines for common conditions in which treatment often varies from optimal standards of care. Using clinical pathways can guide clinicians as they navigate critical, complex decision points based on the clinical characteristics of each patient, helping to deliver evidence-based care and reduce unwarranted variability.

Learn more about reducing unwarranted variability and driving sustainable and effective care in our new eBook, Solving unwarranted variation in care begins with clinical decision-making.

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