Core measures are a part of the fabric of hospital life, particularly given their connection to CMS reimbursement numbers. All staff have encountered core measures at some point and have a basic understanding of them. But how do you ensure that their knowledge level is up to date and sufficient to keep your hospital’s reimbursements optimized?
At Regional Medical Center (RMC) of San Jose (CA), the quality department created the Core Measures 101 brochure, an educational tool designed to improve new hires’ understanding of core measures.
“We give this out in every new employee orientation and to the nursing and medical staff who need core measure education,” says RMC quality coordinator Odette Carreon. “It contains all the basic information one has to know about core measure guidelines, including helpful links, resources, and contact numbers of the quality department.”
The brochure is printed in full color and distributed to staff. Rather than try to teach employees core measures guidelines from scratch, the brochure is intended as a go-to reference on the fly as well as a reminder or update for experienced staff.
“Most of the staff are very familiar with core measures,” says Nancy Fore, chief quality officer at RMC. New hires will have heard about core measures through their previous jobs, but the tool acts as a key reminder for them. “You can’t not know something about core measures in the U.S.,” says Fore. “It’s every hospital’s focus because of the reimbursement factors.”
The information contained in the brochure is a collection of facts from The Joint Commission and CMS, with a focus on publicly reported measures. Although the hospital is educating its staff on all of the core measures guidelines, the brochure sticks with the publicly reported indicators as a way to keep things streamlined. “We had very limited space,” Carreon says.