Improving Quality of Care Through Executive Incentive Plans

Eric Reehl, for HealthLeaders Media , September 16, 2011

Setting Quality Goals


Quality goals are often a part of executive incentive plans. This strategy is a good way to reinforce an organization's goals and clarify executive expectations. To be effective, quality goals should be selected that best meet the following characteristics:

  • Understandable
  • Baseline performance well-established
  • External benchmark data available
  • Reflective of performance throughout the performance cycle

Most healthcare organizations set quality goals based more on incremental improvement in a performance cycle rather than on achieving large, highly ambitious leaps in quality. Goals are typically set at a certain level above the baseline from the previous performance cycle. These goals can either compare the organization's quality performance with performance from past years, or compare performance with an industry standard.

With the increased quality requirements that will be enforced on hospitals and health systems in our new healthcare environment, the measurement, assessment, and use of performance-enhancing initiatives against quality standards will only become more necessary.

Eric Reehl is a senior consultant with the executive compensation and governance practice of Integrated Healthcare Strategies.

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