Value, he reminded the audience, can be seen as a simple calculation proposed by Harvard economist Michael Porter, PhD: outcome divided by the cost of care.
An important metric to look at, Dr. Weber said, is “treatment package time”—the time between surgery or the start of radiation-chemotherapy and the final treatment. A 2002 study concluded that, in cases involving multi-modality therapy, treatment that extends beyond 100 days can have a negative effect on prognosis and survival (Head Neck. 2002;24:115-126). “These are the types of metrics that we try to capture to make sure that we are delivering care efficiently and within the prescribed treatment time,” Dr. Weber said.
They’ve also looked at performance indicators, divided into high-acuity and low-acuity cases—numbers such as hospital stays of two or more days for low-acuity cases and more than 11 days for high-acuity, blood use, and readmissions within 30 days. MD Anderson presented each of its surgeons with their own numbers in these types of categories and, anonymously, with those of their peers.