As the family nurse practitioner at ThedaCare Physicians in Hilbert, Scott Schuldes often sees school-age patients who perhaps earlier that day were showing their parents their most recent report card.
Little do those young patients know that their caregivers that day also get report cards of sorts.
They call them metrics in the healthcare field instead of report cards, but they are just as important to Schuldes and his staff as students’ report cards are to them and their parents.
“Our clinic gets metrics on a number of different diseases,” Schuldes said. “Our clinic gets metrics on preventative diseases.”
For a number of years now, ThedaCare Physicians has put a strong emphasis on not just treating diseases but working with its patients to try to prevent diseases or at least keep them under control. The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is taken to heart at ThedaCare, especially at the Hilbert clinic at 308 W. Main St. where Schuldes and his experienced staff counsel patients— without hounding them—about the importance of proper nutrition, exercise, taking medications, and avoiding tobacco, excessive alcohol and other drugs. Keeping diabetic patients within their blood sugar goals, patients with blood pressure concerns within their goals, and immunizing pediatric patients are just a few examples of measures on which Schuldes and his staff are scored.
Solid scores So how are the scores on the report
card for the Hilbert clinic of ThedaCare Physicians? “They’re very good,” Schuldes said. “Last year we scored 90 points out of 100.”
ThedaCare offers a wide healthcare network in northeast Wisconsin ranging from hometown clinics to world-class hospitals. In 2015 the healthcare network has implemented new customer-focused metrics which make use of multi-question, national, standardized surveys. One of those metrics measures patients’ perceptions of care provided in the office setting. A random sample of patients receive a mailed copy of the survey, while the rest receive an e-mailed copy of the survey if ThedaCare has their e-mail address.
Not only does Schuldes not mind the measures, he said he welcomes them because they all lead to better patient care. “To any clinician, data is power,” he said. “Lowering risk is giving people longer life.”
In the current era of healthcare, providers are getting compensated at least in part based on their quality of care and patient outcomes. “The insurance companies are putting pressure on us to get people to goal,” Schuldes said. “It’s going to make my job harder,” but he
also said the ultimate outcome is for the Practice associate Angie Koeck (left) and medical assistant Kim Meyer assist family nurse practitioner Scott Schuldes at the ThedaCare Physicians office in Turn to THEDA/page 3 Hilbert, as do Kathy Loose and John Nelson (not pictured). Mark Sherry photo