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Written by: Darlene D'Altorio-Jones (1959-2015) on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 Posted in: Inpatient Rehab

We started the Mediware Blog Feb. 1, 2011. We developed lists for needed content, discussion points and various items we should discuss within content.  Then we created the dreaded ‘quota.’  By all other definitions quota is the established number one must perform to meet the specified objective! OK, too technical; it was the minimum number we should complete so there are always relative and new items in the ‘queue’ waiting to be published.

Looking back at the original quarterly goal, we stated that our quota was to write 20 blog posts with a aim high GOAL of 40. Hands on keys (all hands on deck jargon for those of us who type),  I met my quota of 20 and fell far short of the aim high GOAL of 40. I felt the goal needed readjustment for good purpose. I stopped at 20;  40 wasn’t practical. It was a bad goal. (As a therapist I felt this was appropriate to argue – don’t you?)

Our CORE Results Group had a discussion and decided that content over volume was more important and the fact that we had plenty in the ‘queue’ not published would result in stale material sitting on the side with misdirected effort. Here we are a nearly two years later and we finally honed in a reasonable expectation of 10 per quarter; recall from above, this annual minimum was a quarterly goal when the plan got started two years ago.

Why am I discussing this? Because it relates to expectations, naive projections and goal adherence which are areas we deal with each and every day in the clinic! Measurement and goal setting is being HIGHLY discussed right now as well as the transparency, development and consistent adherence to expectations. This is our future, the future of accountability toward action and reporting and meeting goals as professionals. There is no escape, as it is nearly the end of the first month and to stay on target for this quarter I need to release at least three to four blogs ASAP.

Goals drive performance and initially when we start something new, like reporting quality measures on IRF or preparing for CBOR (Claims-Based Outcomes Reporting) for outpatient fee for service claims, we learn through experience. Realistic performance is a discussion everyone must have as we are projecting and reporting more formally the expectations we place upon ourselves and the ability of patients to meet those expectations within the scope of practice.

Although we may not be too thrilled about additional work to report outcomes, and we certainly may not agree with the very precepts of how the system is developed to a ‘standard of impairment’ percentage no matter the scale we use to measure; we WILL LEARN. We will learn about how we set goals, how we drive performance and how we meet hidden expectations. Of course it will require practice and we may fall far short from our original expectations as a naive writer must have thought 40 blogs per quarter was well within reach given all other duties. (Typed with a smile!)

Professionally, we will utilize the information in aggregate to help expedite performance, realistic expectations and most of all, more efficient and effective outcomes. Why? Because as professionals of every type in the medical business we entered these professions with a sincere desire to make a difference in the lives of those hurting from illness or ailment. When we set goals now (because they are being monitored), I believe it will make a difference that will drive us to be much more accountable to the patients served.  We have all heard before,  ’what is measured is managed,’ and these new outcomes and performance metrics are no different.

(On to my next topic!)

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