Posts Tagged ‘quality improvement organization’

Video: Maximizing Care Transitions to Drive Clinical and Financial Outcomes

August 7th, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

Efficient handling of care transitions is high on healthcare’s agenda. According to a recent HIN survey, more than 90 percent of responding healthcare organizations have programs in this area.

Care transitions are checkpoints not only to engage patients and caregivers, but to check the patient’s health status. Further, proper management of transitions in care can dramatically hasten that person’s return to health, as well as reduce return ER visits or rehospitalizations.

This video from the Healthcare Intelligence Network features exclusive, actionable data from HIN’s 2013 Care Transitions survey including metrics on the most critical care transitions, top targeted transitions, quality of care and more.

This video features Alicia Goroski, senior project director for care transitions for the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care, discussing successful strategies utilized by CFMC and the effects of quality improvement organizations (QIO) on care transitions. Additionally, Cheryl Bailey, vice president of patient care services at Cullman Regional Medical Center, will identify the benefits of their Good to Go program, which records and personalizes patient discharge sessions.

You may also be interested in these related resources:

33 Metrics for Care Transitions Management

Care Transitions Toolkit

Infographic – Care Transitions: Coordinating a Smooth Move Between Care Sites

Is Healthcare Getting the Most from Quality Improvement Organizations?

February 12th, 2013 by Patricia Donovan

QIOs can help to support efforts to reduce Medicare readmissions.

Hospitalizations and readmissions were reduced by at least 6 percent in areas of the country where quality improvement organizations (QIOs) made concerted efforts to improve care transitions from hospitals to the home or other post-acute facilities, according to findings published last month in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The study shows that hospitalizations and rehospitalizations among Medicare patients declined nearly twice as much in communities where QIOs coordinated interventions that engaged whole communities to improve care than in comparison communities, according to a press release from Qualis Health, one of 14 state-based QIOs that acts as the QIO for Idaho and Washington. Prior to a 2012 regionalization effort, each state had its own QIO.

This encouraging data suggests that the CMS-funded QIOs may be underutilized for community-based care improvement and the reduction of avoidable healthcare costs. In a new HIN report on avoiding CMS readmissions penalties, Dr. Amy Boutwell proposes several ways in which healthcare organizations can partner with QIOs to shore up care transitions, thereby reducing the likelihood of readmissions.

“Groupings of hospitals and of post-acute providers in regional geographies help to improve care transitions and care coordination across settings,” noted Dr. Boutwell, a physician and president of Collaborative Healthcare Strategies who also co-founded the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s STAAR (State Action on Avoidable Rehospitalizations) Initiative. “Take advantage of the wealth of other programs and incentives that are coming out of the federal government in this domain.”

Request help from QIOs with data management, she suggests. Knowing one’s own data as well as one’s community partners are two essential steps in identifying weaknesses in care coordination efforts. “The QIO can run your data, which is especially helpful if you are an urban or a busy suburban market. They can show to you all of the transitions between your hospital and other settings of care that are Medicare providers, home health agencies and skilled nursing facilities.

“The QIO can also show you the frequency of transitions between all of these facilities as well as the directionality,” Dr. Boutwell continues. “For example, are you sending out a lot of patients from your hospital to the post-acute and are they sending you back a lot of patients? Wherever those arrows are coming back to you would indicate a high strategic opportunity to engage with those post-acute providers and start talking about the importance of not sending the patient back if there is any way to possibly avoid it in a safe and appropriate manner.”

Each state has a QIO under contract from CMS to help communities at their request improve their care transitions. The QIOs serve as the largest federal program dedicated specifically to improving healthcare quality at the community level.

Dr. Boutwell suggested some other federally funded programs that can provide assistance: