Keeping Up or Starting Over? Being CLEAR About the Public Interest CLEAR Conference Nashville TN, Sept. 23, 2010 Steven Lewis, President Access Consulting Ltd., Saskatoon, Canada & Adjunct Professor of Health Policy Univ. of Calgary & Simon Fraser University 2 Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence. Napoleon Bonaparte Access Consulting Ltd. 3 Accountability
4 What If This Is True? Cost of Regulation Performance Societal wellbeing Access Consulting Ltd. 5 What Is Regulation Supposed to Do?
Reduce variation in how things are done Reduce variation in performance Enable valid comparability Provide essential information for funders Generate information to inform client choice Promote commitment to excellence Regulation is a vehicle for solving problems, not an intrinsic good Access Consulting Ltd. 6 Regulation: Why It Developed
Protect the public Sort the fakes from the genuine articles Promote comparability and mobility Create communities of interest and excellence Improve overall societal well-being Access Consulting Ltd. 7 Regulation: Other Motivations Enhance prestige Protect markets and turf
Prevent huge influx of new entrants Put new generation through the ordeals endured by older generations Secure resources for sector, e.g. More faculty Improved facilities and equipment Access Consulting Ltd. 8 The Regulation Theology Regulation guarantees safety Regulation improves quality Regulation promotes continuous improvement
Regulation reliably distinguishes high from low performers Access Consulting Ltd. 9 The Consequences Over Time Standards proliferate and become more rigorous Credentials creep (or leap) upward Measurement and reporting requirements increase Costs of compliance rise
Complexity increases Access Consulting Ltd. 10 This Model Works If Selected processes are good proxies for performance and outcomes Periodic inspection is a reliable measure of continuous performance
Credentials matter a whole lot Accreditation and licensing scores/ratings are valid measures of true performance Even if imperfect, this approach is better than any available alternatives Access Consulting Ltd. 11 Accreditation in Health & Education: Positive Outcomes Allows greater comparability
Guarantees certain standards and qualifications Possibly guarantees minimum level of performance Facilitates mutual recognition and portability of qualifications, licenses, educational credits Protects public from dangerous or woefully substandard service Access Consulting Ltd. 12 Regulation in Health & Education: The Not So Rosy Picture
Accreditation process can be costly, timeconsuming, and anxiety-producing Independent research shows little relationship between accreditation status and performance Many catastrophes have occurred in accredited facilities staffed by licensed professionals Some accredited facilities score in bottom 10%; some non-accredited ones score near top Access Consulting Ltd. What We Now Know About Performance That We Didnt Know Then
13 Systems and environments influence performance more than individual characteristics Interactions among team members and programs are often the keys to performance Competency derives less from credentials and formal knowledge than from grounded process Continuous measurement, feedback, and adaptation are the keys to excellence Knowledge in some sectors has a short shelf life Access Consulting Ltd. 14
Regulation Has Tried to Respond More comprehensive certification criteria Upgraded information requirements Greater focus on outcomes Changing standards more reflective of contemporary understanding of performance Access Consulting Ltd. 15 Yet Questions Remain
If licensure exam results reliably predict fitness to practice: why cant anyone write them? Why prescribe what educational programs should look like? If we have real-time, valid performance data, isnt that a more reliable guide to informed choice than accreditation status? Since huge variations in quality and safety exist among regulated and certified agencies and individuals, where is the added value? Access Consulting Ltd. 16 What Makes Excellent Practitioners
Do they seek and use data to enhance performance? Can they work in teams to solve complex problems? Are they good stewards of public or private resources? Are they ethically aware and responsive? Do they respond well to constructive criticism? Access Consulting Ltd. 17
What Makes Excellent Institutions Do they monitor, measure, and report? Do they have goals and appropriate strategies for continuous improvement? Do they disclose and learn from error? Is there a culture of respect for workers and customers? Access Consulting Ltd. 18 But Regulation Is About Necessary
Conditions, Not Sufficient! True But what if a lot of conditions are unnecessary and impede the quest for sufficient? What if correlation is mistaken for causation? What if the costs of regulatory compliance leave too few resources to pursue creative innovation? What if there is no evolutionary path from yesterdays theories to tomorrows? Access Consulting Ltd.
19 Are You Saying That Regulation Is Worthless, Harmful, and Wasteful? Regulation prevents some harms Regulation is efficient in that it creates trust and eliminates redundancy in assessments It creates communities of interest and common languages of practice It roots out charlatans and creates penalties for cutting corners dangerously Access Consulting Ltd.
20 However It is not clear that the model adapt fast enough or fully enough to catch up to the changing knowledge base It may cross the line between valid requirements and indefensible protectionism The tension between the need for stable and consistent regulation and the world of constant change may be irreconcilable
Its foundation may crumble as real-time performance data becomes the gold standard Access Consulting Ltd. 21 Thats All Amusing Enough, But Whats the Solution? Move to an outcome-based, real-time approach wherever possible
Abandon hard categorical judgments and pursue continuous quality improvement Sunset regulatory provisions and renew them only of there is evidence of effectiveness Pay attention to the performance literature and anticipate challenges to conventional wisdom Dont ignore the intangibles just because theyre hard to measure Access Consulting Ltd. 22 The Ideal Future State
Leaner, more evidence-based requirements More permissive about means, less tolerant of variation in results Higher correlation between regulatory assessments and actual performance A tiered regulatory structure whereby those who have demonstrated historical excellence have greater latitude to pursue excellence (as in UK hospital trusts) Regulatory assets increase in value and costs diminish Access Consulting Ltd. 23 Contact Information Steven Lewis Access Consulting Ltd.
211 4th Ave. S. Saskatoon SK S7K 1N1 Tel. 306-343-1007 Fax 306-343-1071 E-mail [email protected] Access Consulting Ltd.
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