Articles

Special Innovation Projects

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), in an effort to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries receive better care, better health, and greater value, has provided Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations opportunities to propose innovative projects that address local healthcare quality issues. These projects, known as Special Innovation Projects (SIPs), represent a paradigm shift in how CMS identifies and recognizes the tremendous quality work occurring every day in our local communities, and seeks to capitalize on interventions that have not yet made it into mainstream adoption. KFMC is currently working on the following, innovative projects in Kansas:

Home Health Infection Prevention and Management

Great Plains QIN is facilitating a small collaborative group of home health agencies to develop and test home health specific tools and resources to reduce home health acquired infections that may lead to unnecessary admissions or avoidable readmissions. For more information regarding this project, please contact Brenda Davis, BSN, RN.

Pain Management and Appropriate Utilization of Opioids

KFMC works in selected communities to target education, disseminate Self-Management interventions and facilitate targeted improvement efforts to demonstrate that appropriate pain management (including pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions) coupled with appropriate prescribing guidelines can change the trajectory of opioid prescribing practices. For more information regarding this project, please contact Becky Gillgannon.

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Patient, Family and Emergency Medical Service Early Recognition of Sepsis in Rural Communities: Critical to Reducing Progression of Sepsis Harm and Death

Great Plains QIN received special funding to work in rural geographical locations in each state to increase awareness and early recognition of sepsis. Kansas will focus on Edwards County, Rooks County and Smith County as our targeted communities. EMS professionals are critical partners as they can help prevent sepsis infection or death by knowing the risk factors, identifying the symptoms and initiating life-saving treatment. For the next two years, the Great Plans QIN team will provide evidence-based tools, resources, training, and subject matter experts to reach rural communities and raise awareness of sepsis as a medical emergency. For more information regarding this project, contact Kara Irey.

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Improving Immunization Rates

KFMC collaborates with physician offices, pharmacies, public health departments, hospitals and home health agencies to adopt proven best practice approaches to improve adult immunization rates in Kansas. We offer a wealth of free evidence-based resources to promote influenza, pneumococcal and herpes zoster screening and vaccination best practices, guidelines and tools to break down barriers to care for disparate populations. Through this work we are partnering with the Link leads to third-party web site. Kansas Immunization Program and the Link leads to third-party web site. Immunize Kansas Coalition. For more information, please contact Erin McGuire, BS.

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Consumer and Family Engagement

Collectively, our project teams communicate with providers and practitioners regarding the needs of healthcare consumers and their family members and/or representatives. Our staff work to equip consumers and their families with the tools and strategies necessary to enable them to successfully navigate the healthcare system. Across Kansas, healthcare consumers, family members and advocacy organizations actively and fully participate in project design and implementation to ensure that the needs of the consumers we serve are always taken into account. Consumers' and family stories are shared during working sessions, educational events, via newsletters, social media and other communication channels to create momentum for quality improvement activities. Special emphasis is placed on capturing and sharing a diverse set of stories highlighting the impact of disparity issues as they relate to healthcare experience. To ensure materials are of value and user-friendly, healthcare consumers are asked to review and offer input on the content and distribution methods of educational materials developed as part of the various quality improvement projects.

Utilizing evidence-based tools, KFMC provides healthcare professionals the necessary tools and support for improving consumer communication and involving an individual in his or her own care. For more information on how you can become more engaged in your health, contact Tami Sterling.

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Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship Initiative

Everyday thousands of Americans are impacted by the improper use of antibiotics. According to the CDC, 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections. Antibiotics account for nearly 1 in 5 adverse drug events, and of those about 6% require hospitalization. An estimated 34 million unnecessary prescriptions for antibiotics are ordered each year to treat acute respiratory conditions.

KFMC is partnering with community providers including hospital emergency departments, urgent care centers and clinics, Rural Health Clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers, local health departments and community pharmacies to improve care through antibiotic stewardship. Through this effort we are working with outpatient providers across Kansas to slow the emergence of resistant bacteria and prevent the spread of resistant infections. Through this work, we are sharing information and education on the principles of antimicrobial stewardship, which is defined as 'coordinated interventions designed to improve and measure the appropriate use of antimicrobials by promoting the selection of the optimal antimicrobial drug regimen, dose, duration of therapy and route of administration.' Antibiotics are a precious resource and preserving their usefulness will require cooperation and engagement by all. For more information, please contact Nadyne Hagmeier, RN.

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Communities of Care

Improving care coordination leads to better consumer outcomes and overall satisfaction, reduces avoidable hospital admissions and readmissions, and improves medication safety. KFMC partners with communities throughout the region to unite stakeholders, consumers and healthcare providers to reduce avoidable hospital admissions, readmissions and medication harm, and increase community tenure. The national goal is a 20 percent reduction in avoidable hospital readmissions and admissions and a 10 percent increase in community tenure by August 2019. To learn more, please contact Beth Nech.

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