The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) program has lofty ambitions: reduce health disparities, promote chronic disease management, and lower costs across the U.S. by creating learning action networks, which align all healthcare providers and advance best practices. But how do these learning action networks form, communicate, and grow? How can a nurse looking to vaccinate more seniors against pneumonia in, say, Louisiana, draw inspiration and knowledge from a colleague in Pennsylvania?

communities

As a subcontractor to Quality Insights (a CMS-contracted QIN-QIO), PRHI is providing access to virtual learning opportunities for healthcare providers across the continuum in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, and Louisiana. PRHI’s technical and educational team works with Quality Insights and leaders within those five states to develop educational courses, resources, and communication channels to further specific goals, or tasks, of the QIN-QIO. These tasks include improving cardiac health, eliminating hospital-acquired infections, promoting care coordination and medication safety, optimizing electronic health record systems, preparing for value-based payment and quality reporting, enhancing nursing home quality, treating congestive heart failure, expanding palliative care options, and boosting adult immunization rates. 

Each task has its own “community” on the My Quality Insights platform, where providers working on the task have on-demand access to discussion forums, blogs, educational materials (including those that qualify for continuing nursing education credits), newsletters, and events calendars in one spot.

As QIN-QIO task lead for adult immunizations, Brenda Tincher works to catalyze quality improvement and disseminate knowledge among more than 400 participating clinicians and 200 home health agencies, spread across a wide geographic region. My Quality Insights provides a platform to share best practices and success stories as well as solve problems, from the Jersey Shore to the Bayou.

e learn sample“PRHI was instrumental in helping me develop my first E-Learn for the immunization community, and to set up the community overall,” Tincher says. “Being able to share the resources that we are adding every day is invaluable, and the continuing education credits offered through My Quality Insights are a huge selling point when we approach clinicians and staff about participating. The blog and discussion forums allow us to see what’s working for others working on the task, and to see how it might apply in our particular communities.”

Across all of the QIN-QIO tasks, nearly 700 people are harnessing the educational and communication tools available on My Quality Insights. PRHI’s team continues to work with task leads to enhance the value of each community, including by developing new E-Learn modules that earn educational credits for providers.

There are currently eight E-Learns that participants can access for CNE credits at any time, focused on the Comprehensive Unit-Based Safety Program, influenza, oral anticoagulants, Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections, Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections, Clostridium difficile, value-based payment and quality reporting, and using Condition-Specific SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation) tools to improve nurse-physician communication. PRHI is currently working on CNE-eligible courses on antimicrobial resistance, palliative care, and patient satisfaction metrics (HCAHPS).

“Our partnership with PRHI has been such a positive experience,” Tincher says. “I’m looking forward to working with them to develop my next E-learn.”

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sunday business page adolescent healthThe state of behavioral health for adolescents in the U.S. has reached a crisis level. Many adolescents and their families are grappling with issues of mental illness, alcohol and substance use, and self-harm during this critical phase of development. Few teens are accessing treatment, and those that do might not be getting the sort of help that allows them to lead fulfilling, productive lives. Locally, treatment outcomes lag behind those seen elsewhere in the state.

JHF, along with community partners, is preparing to spark a community dialogue on adolescent behavioral health and strengthen the prevention and treatment services available to kids and teens in our region by leveraging best-in-class clinical practices, technology, and policy. In March, Karen Feinstein discussed the current state of adolescent behavioral health and her vision of the ideal support system for kids, teens and families during the KDKA-TV Sunday Business Page program.

To watch the KDKA Sunday Business Page segment, visit our YouTube channel.

Continuing the initiative,  on March 28, the Health Activist Network hosted an event that served as both an advocacy workshop and the beginning of a full-court press on creating the kind of adolescent behavioral health system that our region deserves. More than 60 attendees gained insights on effective advocacy from individuals who have rallied around children on the autism spectrum in Pennsylvania, and identified opportunities to apply similar strategies to efforts around adolescent behavioral health. The event also featured a panel discussion on engaging parents and teens in behavioral health advocacy, featuring youth and family support specialists who use their lived experience to help others enduring similar challenges.

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On March 6-7, the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI) invited some of the nation’s leading healthcare experts and employers to discuss the purchaser’s role in creating an affordable, high-performing health system. The National Employer Summit, held in Seattle WA, showcased innovative solutions to value-based purchasing, benefit design and incentives, transparency, and performance measurement, and explored ways to break through policy barriers.

NRHI is a consortium of 30-plus multi-stakeholder organizations across the U.S. that serves as a key resource for healthcare policy decisions. The Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI), a supporting organization of JHF, is a founding member and plays a leadership role in NRHI.

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On March 1, local organizations and community members came together at the City County Building for a legislative briefing on the progress of the Age-Friendly Greater Pittsburgh Action Plan. JHF’s Virtual Senior Academy, Action Item #27 in the plan, was highlighted as one of the innovative programs engaging seniors with technology. The briefing was featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and you can watch the full meeting on the City of Pittsburgh’s YouTube channel.

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In March, JHF proudly co-sponsored a pair of training sessions with Jackson Katz, PhD, a pioneer of the bystander approach to ending sexual harassment and violence. The sessions, organized by the Southwest PA Says No More coalition on March 6 and 7, explored the roots of sexual harassment and offered practical tools for creating a more respectful, inclusive culture. Southwest PA Says No More is a growing collection of community leaders and concerned citizens who are committed toending violence against women.

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On March 25, local partners gathered at Venture Outdoors’ headquarters on the South Side to learn about the program’s success during its inaugural year in 2017, and its plans to help more seniors of all fitness levels and abilities get active in 2018 You can learn more about upcoming Fit with a Physician events by visiting the Venture Outdoors website. If you’re interested in getting involved in the program, including ways you can help lead walks, email Mara Leff at leff@jhf.org or call 412-594-2579.

 

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sunday business page adolescent healthThe state of behavioral health for adolescents in the U.S. has reached a crisis level. Many adolescents and their families are grappling with issues of mental illness, alcohol and substance use, and self-harm during this critical phase of development. Few teens are accessing treatment, and those that do might not be getting the sort of help that allows them to lead fulfilling, productive lives. Locally, treatment outcomes lag behind those seen elsewhere in the state.

JHF, along with community partners, is preparing to spark a community dialogue on adolescent behavioral health and strengthen the prevention and treatment services available to kids and teens in our region by leveraging best-in-class clinical practices, technology, and policy. In March, Karen Feinstein discussed the current state of adolescent behavioral health and her vision of the ideal support system for kids, teens and families during the KDKA-TV Sunday Business Page program.

To watch the KDKA Sunday Business Page segment, visit our YouTube channel.

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MAI Outreach Workers Map Road to Retention for HIV-positive Clients

Date Created: August 27, 2015 03:42 PM

One by one, Minority Aids Initiative (MAI) outreach workers stepped in front of their peers and sketched items that symbolize their profession. Comedy and tragedy masks, representing clients’ ever-changing moods. A handbag, packed with snacks and bus tokens to keep clients nourished and on time for appointments. A bridge, depicting how they connect those in need and help shoulder the “two tons of problems” that lead some HIV-positive individuals to fall through the cracks of the healthcare system.

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Closure Continues in Harrisburg to Promote Statewide End-of-Life Policy Change

Date Created: August 27, 2015 03:03 PM

Since October of 2014, more than 60 medical professionals, clergy, social workers, academics, policymakers, and community advocates in Harrisburg have participated in Closure sessions to enhance end‐of-life care in their local communities. Now, the Harrisburg group is working to ensure that patients and families across Pennsylvania have their desired end‐of‐life experience.

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Princeton Conference on Health Economics and Policy Takes Pulse of U.S. Health System’s Quality, Safety

Date Created: August 27, 2015 03:33 PM

Over the past two decades, an avalanche of research has demonstrated that that world's most expensive healthcare system is also its greatest underachiever. Is the U.S. finally moving the needle in delivering care founded upon prevention, health outcomes, and systems thinking, rather than reaction, volume and quick fixes? JHF President and CEO Karen Wolk Feinstein, PhD, moderated a panel discussion that examined the state of the U.S. health system's quality and safety during the 22nd annual Princeton Conference, held from May 12-14 at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in New Jersey.

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