CMI’s Center for Evaluation and Analytics supports performance improvement across Kaiser Permanente by providing performance metrics, evaluating impact, and identifying success factors. The multidisciplinary staff uses tools developed for research and applies them to performance improvement, providing actionable knowledge to accelerate learning.
Performance metrics provide basic information about what is happening in Kaiser Permanente’s care for its members. Metrics provided by the Center address questions such as: Are Kaiser Permanente members receiving optimal medications to help prevent heart attacks and strokes? Are heart attacks among Kaiser Permanente members becoming more or less common over time? How many Kaiser Permanente members are readmitted to a hospital within 30 days of a previous discharge?
The center assesses CMI quality improvement initiatives to determine their positive impact on the care that Kaiser Permanente members receive. Impact evaluations address questions such as: When Kaiser Permanente’s regions did extensive outreach to increase use of heart protective medications by high-risk patients, how many heart attacks and strokes were prevented? When Kaiser Permanente enhanced its palliative care services for members with advanced illness, were members more confident that there was a clear plan for their care? How many unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency room visits were avoided? Our evaluation projects typically bring together data from many sources and apply sophisticated analytic techniques to assure that learnings are accurate and unbiased.
Identifying Success Factors
The center collaborates with Kaiser Permanente regional partners to understand why some quality improvement programs are able to achieve superior performance, so the critical factors can be replicated across Kaiser Permanente. For example, the center’s work has identified the most important factors in preventing hospital readmissions; these are now being addressed across Kaiser Permanente regions. Success factor identification uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, including the ‘video ethnography’ method to help understand member needs.