Clinical Standardization is the establishment of standards and protocols for caregivers to follow when treating patients in order to reduce unnecessary costs, to avoid unwarranted variation in treatment, and to improve patient care and caregiver accountability.
Benefits of Standardization:
- Reliable/high quality care
- Measurable and reproducible care
- Complex Decision Making
- Reviewed & Challenged
It is important because, like a heart attack victim is entitled to receive the same benefit from recent advances in acute coronary care whether he be in Sydney, NS, or Saskatoon, SK; a child with breathing difficulties from acute asthma, in Kelowna, BC or Kingston, ON, should be treated in accordance with a common current understanding of the disease process and effective available therapies. Where there exists good evidence for a clinical management approach for a given disease state, there should be no variability of quality of care on the basis of postal code. The aim of the Clinical & Systems Transformation project is to make the right thing the easy thing to do, every time.
Clinical standard work aims to reduce unnecessary variation that exists in health care delivery today with the goal of improving health care quality. Many examples of variation in care and its effects on quality exist in the pediatric literature. The reason for this variation is complex and multifaceted.
Need for Standardization: The sheer volume of new medical knowledge makes it extremely difficult for clinicians to stay up to date and incorporate new best practices into patient care. In addition, application of this published evidence to direct patient care is often of uncertain value. Due to the growing complexity of patient conditions and treatments, evidence may not directly translate to individual patients or populations. In fact, for much of routine clinical practice, high-quality evidence that supports clinical decision is available only 20 % of the time leaving most medical decisions to clinician experience and opinion. Even when evidence-based guidelines are available, it is estimated that only two thirds of patients receive the recommended care and another 25 % receive care that is not necessary and may in fact be harmful. Growing complexity demands strong collaboration and coordination between multiple physician subspecialists and allied health professionals to assure that the patient receives the care that is required. Systems to support this needed coordinated approach are currently lacking. The creation of standard clinical processes using process management in conjunction with robust, targeted measurement, and team-based care is the platform upon which such a dynamic learning health care system can be created, in which measurement informs practice and practice informs evidence and further improvement. With the development of electronic medical record systems and the availability of real-time data, health care systems must embrace this opportunity to reform health care and create a new system that emphasizes coordinated care delivered by a team of clinicians that standardizes processes, utilizes principles of continuous quality improvement with continued measurement to improve the health.
Journal of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
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