This section will highlight a few areas to help you assess the integration of abortion into your practice, and can be folded into assessments you already do for new services.
USING DATA AND AUDIT PROCESSES
Gathering data and performing audits periodically will allow you to measure how well your newly integrated services are operating and assess the patient experience. This is to evaluate systems, not the performance of individuals. Involving staff and patients in identifying necessary improvements will facilitate positive change. Consider using the PDSA (Plan Do Study Act) model endorsed by the Agency for Health Care Quality and Research.
To undertake an audit of reproductive services such as abortion care in your practice, consider gathering data on the following indicators:
- Length of time between first call and appointment date; willingness to refer
- Patient wait time
- Patient perception of pain and pain management and overall experience
- Abortion volume (utilization of resources)
- Complications and after-hours calls
- Coding practices and actual reimbursement
Below is a simple but useful methodology for measuring your service indicators:
- Identify criteria and set performance goals
- Collect and analyze data
- Identify areas of improvement and solutions
- Evaluate both desired and undesired outcomes
PATIENT SURVEY PROCESSES
Having consistent and useful patient feedback is crucial to offering excellent care in a patient-centered practice. This information creates opportunities for reflection, enriches learning, and ultimately helps to improve the patient’s experience. You might utilize patient satisfaction surveys and complaint forms already in use by your practice.
In collecting patient feedback, it is important to create and maintain an environment where feedback and criticism (both positive and negative) are used for improvement of systems to benefit the patient, not as punishment of individuals. A patient with a complaint is frequently satisfied to know that someone has listened to their issue and that action is being taken to resolve the situation.