Quality Insights Awarded Projects to Improve LTAC and Palliative Care

9/30/2015

WVMI d/b/a Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network has been awarded two new projects by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. These data-driven quality initiatives will improve patient safety, reduce harm and improve clinical care in three states:  Delaware, Louisiana and West Virginia.
Under the first project, Quality Insights will collaborate with a wide range of healthcare providers, government and non-profit agencies, and consumer groups to increase palliative care and hospice referrals for people with Medicare diagnosed with end stage heart failure. Project teams in Delaware, West Virginia and Louisiana will tailor their approaches to best meet the needs of the local populations.

According to the Journal of Palliative Medicine, heart failure (HF) is the most common cause of hospitalization among adults over the age of 65. Hospital readmission rates, mortality rates, and Medicare costs for patients with this disease are high. Furthermore, patients with HF experience a number of symptoms that worsen as the disease progresses. However, a small minority of patients with HF receives hospice or palliative care.

The second improvement project will focus on reducing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in long-term care acute care hospitals in Louisiana. After one year, Quality Insights will spread successful strategies to other states within the Quality Innovation Network, further reducing infection rates.

According to a large study of U.S. acute care hospitals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that on any given day, about 1 in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection. There were an estimated 722,000 HAIs in U.S acute care hospitals in 2011. About 75,000 hospital patients with HAIs died during their hospitalizations.

“We have experts in place who are ready to hit the ground running with these initiatives,” says Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network Director Rebecca Cochran, MSN, RN, CPHQ. “We look forward to partnering with hospitals, medical centers and community organizations to spearhead these improvement efforts.”

To support the project’s goals, Quality Insights will invite healthcare providers across the states and at the local level to come together to receive education on best practices, share successes and lessons learned, and collaborate on implementing new strategies.