Quality and Patient Safety Update, August 31, 2011

In this issue: 
This issue includes information on SC Birth Outcomes Initiative, Providers Receiving Free Assistance on Earning PQRS Incentives and the 9th Annual South Carolina Chapter Case Management Conference, in addition to AHA and IHI news highlights.

SC Birth Outcomes Initiative

The SCHA Reengineering Steering Committee has been working diligently, with full Board support, to accomplish the “Triple Aim” of improving the health care experience for every patient in South Carolina; enhancing the heath status and reducing the health disparities within the communities you all serve; and reducing the cost burden related to health and health care for our state and its citizens. Our first prime example of this Triple Aim-based work is the South Carolina Birth Outcomes Initiative that we are leading with DHHS and many other South Carolina health care organizations to improve perinatal outcomes for moms and babies, reduce major disparities across our state in birth outcomes, and create measurable cost savings related to perinatal/neonatal care.

The first major component of this initiative will be a collective effort to eliminate non-medically necessary elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks of pregnancy. There is a large body of national evidence that supports the positive impact of this early elective delivery prevention program on reducing adverse neonatal outcomes and related maternal/child care costs at the hospital level. Our HCA member hospitals have had policies addressing these elective early deliveries for a number of years, and they report that it is now very rare to have elective deliveries at <39 weeks of pregnancy that are not medically necessary. As a result, they have seen better neonatal outcomes and overall reduced costs. We know other South Carolina hospital systems also already have similar policies in place and would encourage each of you to share with us the existing work to reduce early elective deliveries in your hospital.

The first step of this early elective induction prevention effort is to receive a formal commitment from each of you on behalf of your hospital and medical staff to actively participate. Please see the copy of this commitment letter in the Tools and Resources section. This commitment letter is from DHHS announcing this specific birth outcomes improvement project with a place for your signature and space to list the obstetrician and neonatologist/pediatrician that will lead this effort in your hospital system. Please note that this letter has been signed by representatives from SCHA, DHHS, the SC OBGYN Society and state American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) chapter, and the March of Dimes as a strong indication of the collaborative nature of this initiative.

In the next few weeks, our Quality Team be providing some baseline and benchmarking data to your hospital related to your rate of elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks and associated C/Sections and NICU admissions. We will also be providing some sample policies, evidence-based practices and other resource materials to assist you, your staff and physicians in implementing a comprehensive early elective delivery prevention program.

If you have policies already in place or best practices related to reducing elective early births that you would be willing to share, please send those to Dr. Foster, rfoster@scha.org.

South Carolina News

Providers Can Receive Free Assistance on Earning PQRS Incentives

The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence (CCME) will be conducting a collaborative for all users of Physician Quality Reporting System-certified EHR systems. This is targeted toward physician practices seeking financial incentives for meeting meaningful use requirements early, and avoiding financial penalties for not reporting by 2015. It will offer assistance in implementing systems to collect, report, and analyze PQRS data, and quality improvement for improving performance. Interested practices need to submit an Expression of Interest Form to CCME as soon as possible since participation is limited. You can locate the Expression of Interest Form in the Tools and Resources section. Read More

9th Annual South Carolina Chapter Case Management Conference

Join the SC Chapter of Case Management October 27-18, 2011, at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston, SC for information critical for case managers to not only survive, but to thrive, under health care reform. Topics include care transitions, reduction of readmissions, accountable care and sessions by a certified intrinsic coach on maximizing your time/effectiveness, and workplace stress/burnout. Please see the Tools and Resources section to learn more and register.

AHA News

AHA Regulatory Advisory: Inpatient Prospective Payment System FY 2012 Final Regulation

Please see the Tools and Resources section review the AHA Regulatory Advisory on the IPPS Final Regulation for FY 2012. The Advisory Breakdown is as follows:

  1. Inpatient quality reporting program: pages 7-11
  2. Hospital-acquired conditions: pages 11-14
  3. Hospital value-based purchasing: pages 14-15
  4. Readmissions: pages 15-18

Coalition Updates Recommendations for Primary Stroke Centers

Stroke patients who need emergency care should be taken to the nearest certified primary stroke center, which acts as a central point for stroke treatment, according to new recommendations from the Brain Attack Coalition. The updated recommendations, which reflect advances in stroke treatment over the past decade, are published online in the September issue of Stroke. The coalition represents medical, scientific, government and other leaders in the field of stroke, including the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. At least 1,000 U.S. hospitals are designated as primary stroke centers. For more information, see the NIH news release.

IOM: Few Health Problems Caused by Vaccines

Few health problems are caused by or clearly associated with vaccines, according to a study released by the Institute of Medicine. Among other findings, the IOM committee concluded that the flu shot does not cause Bell's palsy or exacerbate asthma, as some have suggested. Based on a review of more than 1,000 research articles on the possible adverse effects of vaccines, the study found no links between immunization and some serious conditions that have raised concerns, including Type 1 diabetes and autism. To protect the lives and welfare of patients and hospital employees, the AHA Board of Trustees recently approved a policy supporting mandatory patient safety policies that require either flu vaccination or wearing a mask in the presence of patients across health care settings during flu season.

IHI News

WIHI: "Always Events®,” September 8

Over the last few years, the Picker Institute has developed a concept and a set of activities they've dubbed "Always Events." The goal of this initiative is to encourage the widespread adoption and reliable use of processes that are patient- and family-centered. Picker is encouraging organizations to focus especially on improvements in communications, discharge, handoffs, care transitions, health literacy, and more. For the September 8 broadcast, WIHI is pleased to welcome the Picker Institute's Executive Director, Lucile Hanscom, along with consultant Dale Shaller, an expert in developing benchmarks and measurement systems for patient-centered care. They'll be joined by Gaye Smith of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Tony DiGioia of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center ---- leaders from two organizations that have received Always Events Challenge Grants ---- as well as by IHI's Lead for Public and Patient Engagement, Martha Hayward.
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IHI Open School Offering Two Additional Courses!

The IHI Open School is excited to announce two new courses that will be released in the fall. The course names and release dates are listed below. In addition to the new courses, IHI is also releasing new resources (including a case study) and a contest focused on patient- and family-centered care in September.
September 28: Patient- and Family-Centered Care 101: Respect and Dignity
October 14: Managing Health Care Operations 101: How to Achieve Breakthrough Quality, Access, and Affordability

Calendar of Events

August 2011 Health Care Observances

  • Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month
  • National Immunization Awareness Month

September 15 – 16, 2011

17th Annual Diabetes Fall Symposium will be held at the North Charleston Convention Center. Diabetes teams are encouraged to participate and submit a poster on the work they have accomplished. Poster abstracts are due by August 26. For more information contact Julie Benke-Bennett, benkej@musc.edu or (843) 876-0998.

September 15 – 17, 2011

Tap Conference is an annual joint meeting with the SC Medical Association. Hospitals bring leadership teams of board members, physicians and senior leaders to network and look into the future of health care for South Carolina Hospitals. It will be held at the Hilton Head Marriott Resort and Spa in Hilton Head, SC. Contact Lucy Marcum, lmarcum@scha.org, for more information.

October 12, 2011

Final On the Cusp: Stop BSI Meeting Celebration will be held at the SCHA Conference Center. This meeting marks the end of a two year collaboration to stop blood stream infections in South Carolina hospitals. For more information contact Kimberly Hubbard, khubbard@scha.org.

October 12, 2011

Summit on Care of the Seriously Ill, sponsored the SC Healthcare Ethics Network, SC Medical Association, SCHA and SC Coalition for the Care of the Seriously Ill, will be held at SCHA. Please see the Tools and Resources section to register. For more information contact Karen Reeves, kreeves@scha.org.

October 27-28, 2011

Ninth Annual South Carolina Chapter Case Management Conference will be held at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston, SC. Join the SC Chapter of case management for information critical for case managers to not only survive, but to thrive, under health care reform. For more information contact Karen Reeves, kreeves@scha.org.

November 29, 2011

Fifth Annual SC Heart Care Alliance Forum will be held at the SCHA Conference Center, 1000 Center Point Rd, Columbia, SC, 29210. Registration has not yet opened. For more information contact Kimberly Hubbard, khubbard@scha.org.

December 4-7, 2011

IHI’s 23rd Annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Healthcare will be held in Orlando, FL. To register for the National Forum, please click here.

April 24-26, 2012

Fifth Annual South Carolina Patient Safety Symposium will be held at the Columbia Marriott in Columbia, SC. Save the date for one of South Carolina’s top health care conferences.


Please contact The SCHA Quality and Patient Safety Team if you have questions regarding this newsletter (803.744.3523) or to schedule a Site Visit with our team, please complete the form, located under Tools and Resources.

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