Controlling Variation

How do you control variation to improve outcomes? How might health care administration leaders implement approaches to control for variation for their health services organization?
Within a health services organization different processes and workflows contribute to the overall aim of delivering health services. Not surprisingly, when resources become constrained—for example, with influxes of new patients or even changes in health care policy and law—these changes may result in differences, that is, variation in how these workflows and processes are executed for health care delivery. As a current or future health care administration leader, you may encounter the need to control for variation to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of health care delivery for your health services organization.

For this Discussion, reflect on the approaches health care administration leaders may use to control for variation. Then, select a health process or outcome that might benefit from variance reduction and consider how you might measure the effectiveness of variation reduction for this health process or outcome. Reflect on the McWilliams, Chernew, Landon, & Schwartz (2015) article and consider how accountable care organizations (ACOs) may compare in relation to non-ACOs.

Post, a description of the health process or outcome you selected and explain why. Then, explain variance reduction measures that might be appropriate for improving performance for this health process or outcome. Explain how you would measure the process or outcome to ensure that variance reduction measures worked. Then, explain how well accountable care organizations (ACOs) performed in comparison to non-ACOs as suggested by the McWilliams, Chernew, Landon, & Schwartz (2015) article. Explain whether you believe that ACOs will be effective in controlling cost, quality, and access variation. Then, explain whether you, as a health care administration leader, would encourage a health organization to move toward the ACO model. Why or why not?

Sample Solution

ACED ESSAYS