From Board to Bedside: How the Application of Financial Structures to Safety and Quality Can Drive Accountability in a Large Health Care System

J. Matthew Austin, Renee Demski, Tiffany Callender, K. H.Ken Lee, Ann Hoffman, Lisa Allen, Deborah A. Radke, Yungjin Kim, Ronald J. Werthman, Ronald R. Peterson, Peter J Pronovost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background As the health care system in the United States places greater emphasis on the public reporting of quality and safety data and its use to determine payment, provider organizations must implement structures that ensure discipline and rigor regarding these data. An academic health system, as part of a performance management system, applied four key components of a financial reporting structure to support the goal of top-to-bottom accountability for improving quality and safety. Four Key Components of a Financial Reporting Structure The four components implemented by Johns Hopkins Medicine were governance, accountability, reporting of consolidated quality performance statements, and auditing. Governance is provided by the health system's Patient Safety and Quality Board Committee, which reviews goals and strategy for patient safety and quality, reviews quarterly performance for each entity, and holds organizational leaders accountable for performance. An accountability plan includes escalating levels of review corresponding to the number of months an entity misses the defined performance target for a measure. A consolidated quality statement helps inform the Patient Safety and Quality Board Committee and leadership on key quality and safety issues. An audit evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of processes for data collection, validation, and storage, as to ensure the accuracy and completeness of quality measure reporting. Conclusion If hospitals and health systems truly want to prioritize improvements in safety and quality, they will need to create a performance management system that ensures data validity and supports performance accountability. Without valid data, it is difficult to know whether a performance gap is due to data quality or clinical quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-175
Number of pages10
JournalJoint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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