The healthcare administration may not be as familiar with interpreting quality measures as it is with other commonly used matrix such as financials, thus, it may not see the value in implementing or revising quality measures. Change is not always convenient and leadership may prefer to keep the things the way they are instead of introducing new quality measures and learn how to interpret them. The incentive to implement or revise quality measures that monitor the quality of service being provided to the patients is even lower when the organization is already doing well and there is no external pressure to improve operations efficiency. Another scenario may be that each department in a healthcare organization runs its affairs independently with little or no interaction with other departments. Thus, introducing quality measures that require interaction between the different databases may not be feasible given the culture of the organization and such a move may even be resisted by the individual departments or divisions, determined to protect their autonomy. Many physicians prefer autonomy and see no link between their work and the administration and operation tasks of the organization.
Another barrier may be the healthcare management’s perception of the usefulness of the performance quality data. If the management perceives the quality data to be only useful for compliance with healthcare regulations then it fails to see the informational value of quality data in strategic decision making. To be able to benefit from a particular type of data, the management has to be able to realize the importance of that data. Another reason the healthcare management may be hesitant to implement or revise quality a measure is not to alienate the physicians who are vital to the success of the organizations. By implementing quality control measures, the management may be afraid of sending a message that it doesn’t fully trust its physicians to maintain or improve the quality standards all by themselves.
The healthcare management may have no financial incentive to implement or revise quality measures if their compensation is not performance based. If the management compensation is not performance based, introducing new measures may not be an attractive course of action because it will require capital investment and additional operating expenses on an annual basis, thus, driving down profitability, at least in the short run. The management may also fear that implementing quality measures may expose the inefficiency in their operations against other competitors (Lugacz, 2006) and would present their performance in bad light. Thus, as long as the a healthcare organization can deliver profits, it may consider it wise not to risk exposing its weaknesses by implementing stricter performance measures.
The healthcare organizations can overcome the barriers to the implementation of quality controls by encouraging interactions between the various departments and effectively integrating different databases. They can demonstrate to the management and the physicians that by being able to work together they will be able to identify the problems more accurately. In addition, once the healthcare management understands the challenges of physicians, it will be able to allocate resources to the physicians more efficiently to address the most challenging problems. This is because integrating databases will enable the management to see the relationship between different kinds of data and identify underlying performance and quality problems more accurately. The healthcare organization may also introduce pay for performance compensation system at the workplace (Schindler, 2009)which will increase the incentive for organization wide acceptance of the new or revised quality measures. The financial incentive may also encourage the healthcare management to learn how to effectively analyze the quality standards and they may also receive training by the industry health consultants.
To address the management hesitation that its performance may appear weaker against the competitors, the healthcare organization may introduce performance policies that will measure the management performance across time only instead of with competitors until the quality challenges have been identified and addressed. Thus, an effective solution to encouraging the implementation or revision of new healthcare quality measures is to identify and address the concerns of the management as well as the other stakeholders in the organization.