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North Mississippi Medical Center: A Focus on Quality, Safety, and Financial Critical Success Factors

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Background: North Mississippi Medical Center (NMMC), the largest rural hospital in the United States, offers a continuum of health care services stretching from high-tech trauma and/or cardiac care through to compassionate home, long-term, or hospice care.

Overall Approach to Quality and Safety: NMMC uses a care-based cost management (CBCM) approach to performance improvement, which is used to look beyond traditional cost drivers (people, equipment, supplies) to the care issues that have a much greater impact on the actual cost of care—practice variation, complications, and social issues.

Approach to Addressing the Six IOM Quality Aims: The CBCM approach addresses NMMC's quality, safety and financial critical success factors and is applied to address the six Institute of Medicine quality aims. For example, by conceptualizing "patient safety" to include appropriate care for every patient, CBCM leads directly to IOM aims and evidence-based practice. Physician champions and nurse outcomes managers liaison with providers to achieve decreased complications, analyze practice variation from best practice, and address social issues that impair care improvement.

Challenges and Lessons Learned: One of NMMC's greatest challenges is to continuously improve the health of the people in its region. Since 1995, it has partnered in periodic community health assessments to examine its wellness initiatives and plan programs.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-10-01

More about this publication?
  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    David W. Baker, MD, MPH, FACP, executive vice president for the Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation at The Joint Commission, is the inaugural editor-in-chief of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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