Jean Turcotte, corporate director of tele-ICU in Adventist Health System's Office of Clinical Effectiveness, was recently appointed co-chair to a new expert committee for a National Quality Forum (NQF) project. The NQF is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan, membership-based organization whose mission is to lead national collaboration to improve health and health care quality through measurement.
The project is titled "Telehealth Framework to Support Measure Development 2016-2017" and is being funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As co-chair of the project committee, Turcotte will lead a multi-stakeholder group of experts as they conduct an environmental scan of existing and potential telehealth metrics over a 12-month period, develop a measure framework, and produce a final report to aid future telehealth measurement.
"A measure framework is a way of structuring metrics and key performance indicators around the goals and objectives of a program or organization," Turcotte said. "My participation in this committee may help us improve our own AHS tele-ICU program to maximize clinical effectiveness and return on investment. It's also an opportunity to influence the direction of telehealth services on a broader scale."
According to the American Hospital Association, more than half of all U.S. hospitals have a telehealth program. And while there are many quality measures that help evaluate the effectiveness of health care interventions, not much is known about how these measures can be used for telehealth programs, particularly in rural areas. The NQF telehealth project's aim, then, is to identify the most appropriate way to apply these clinical measures to telehealth encounters.
"The most reliable way to track clinical effectiveness is using measures, and this includes telehealth encounters, which increasingly play an important role in modern health care delivery," said Judy Blair, AHS chief clinical officer and senior vice president for AHS's Office of Clinical Effectiveness. "Jean's hospital leadership experience and his current role overseeing the operations of Adventist Health System's tele-ICU program make him an effective contributor to this committee's work."
Turcotte attended a two-day, in-person meeting in Washington, D.C. on November 16 and 17 as part of his responsibilities with the committee. In addition to this appointment, in the past he has worked with professional associations and regulatory agencies to develop policy statements and clinical guidelines. Turcotte is a member of the American Telemedicine Association and participates in webinars related to measuring clinical outcomes and return on investment.