Having special skill or knowledge derived from experience—this is the definition of expert. The phrase also perfectly describes our team. With that, we invite you to get to know our experts as we eagerly launch Q&A with Q-Centrix. Starting with this post, this ongoing series will spotlight key experts from our team and the extensive experience they bring to all of our partnerships.

We kick things off with Doug McGill. As Q-Centrix Lead Consultant for Advisory Solutions, Doug provides professional assessment and strategy services related to clinical outcomes management.

Before landing at Q-Centrix in January 2020, Doug spent nearly 12 years involved in clinical data strategy at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). As UPMC’s Director of Clinical Outcomes and Professional Practice Evaluation, Doug’s responsibilities included expanding and maximizing the value of electronic clinical data across the organization and providing central oversite of clinical data registry participation and various staff accreditations.

We asked Doug how working for a health care provider renowned for inventing new models of accountable care prepared him for his role at Q-Centrix, which includes helping hospital and health system leaders confidently achieve their quality goals. He also shared his views on the importance of data in advancing quality in an ever-evolving industry.

How did you find your way to Q-Centrix?
When I started at UPMC, it consisted of seven hospitals. By the time I partnered with Q‑Centrix more than a decade later, that number increased to 43. Along the way, we saw that this type of growth requires new and flexible strategies to ensure accurate, accessible, and integrated data across the enterprise. A critical part of our strategy was partnering with Q‑Centrix to help define our quality data goals and execution of our plans to achieve them. This included identifying and filling critical gaps in our team and technology. In other words, I was a Q-Centrix client before I joined the team!

I was a Q-Centrix client before I joined the team!

How does your experience play into your role at Q-Centrix?

My time at UPMC underscored the importance of seeing the big picture. Most challenges in health care are largely process related, so it is important to understand the problem on the macrolevel before you try to solve it at the microlevel. This means not only assessing the workflow and rationale for specific processes, but understanding their widespread impact.

One example was aligning our cardiovascular clinical outcomes tracking and accreditation services under one, centralized team. A benefit of transforming this once-fragmented approach was if one care site had a measure compliance fallout, we were able to correct the problem at the other sites before their next accreditation review. By sharing processes, outcomes, and standardizing this work, we were able to contain the fallout to just one site and all the other sites benefited because of it.

Similarly, I witnessed first-hand the importance of bringing together multidisciplinary teams of clinical, IT, and operational leaders to continually integrate and expand electronic clinical data across the organization. This degree of inclusiveness is critical to improving quality and value of care, especially within larger, more complex health care systems.

In your opinion, what is the greatest barrier to translating quality data to meaningful improvement?
The status quo is a major barrier to improvement. Within many organizations, temporary disruptions from updates are perceived as more deleterious than continuing to deal with process inefficiencies or inadequate partnerships. However, when change is forced on you during a crisis, such as a pandemic, many processes must be reimagined. New mindsets accepting of change may support upgrades they would not have before. This includes streamlining processes and finding better-fitting partnerships.

What guidance do you have for health systems operating in an environment that is continuously evolving in response to pandemic, economic strain, and the shift to value-based care?
Stability is key to survival in volatile times. Providing consistent high-quality, high-value care can help hospitals stabilize key factors, such as revenue, costs, reputation, and physician recruitment. Because of this, it is incumbent on hospitals to maximize the value of their clinical data and leverage it across the organization. At the same time, there are many roadblocks to achieving such a high degree of coordination, including siloed departmental decision-making and lack of an overall quality vision.

Fortunately, because we partner with hundreds of hospitals across the country and get to know their challenges while seeing which approaches for overcoming them are working, Q-Centrix is in a unique position to develop and provide the tools, best practices, and ongoing support for achieving true enterprise quality management.

Q-Centrix is in a unique position to develop and provide the tools, best practices, and ongoing support for achieving true enterprise quality management.

Furthermore, our teams’ collective firsthand experience—most of us have “walked the halls” inside of hospitals and health systems in clinical and quality-related roles—allows us to consult in a way that few others, if any, can. Q‑Centrix Advisory Solutions is the culmination of this expertise and experience. This progressive new solution offering provides hospitals with the guidance and framework for realizing a comprehensive, organization-wide approach to quality management.

What do you like most about Q-Centrix?
The mission. Everything we do ultimately helps our partners improve the quality and value of care. The challenges are tough, and the work is hard, but the sense of community and shared vision is truly amazing.

Watch Doug’s expert interview on managing teams through crisis: