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Minnesota's Medicare Quality Improvement Organization

Implementing national health care quality prioritieslocally

As Minnesota's Quality Improvement Organization (QIO), Stratis Health serves as an independent, locally integrated field team for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to help implement the Department of Health and Human Services' National Quality Strategy and federal health reform efforts. The QIO Program is dedicated to improving health quality at the community level.

Stratis Health focuses on innovation spread in Minnesota. We support and convene providers, practitioners, and patients in statewide learning and action networks to build and share knowledge, spread best practices, achieve rapid, wide-scale improvement. Our work supports CMS' new value based purchasing programs with expert technical assistance to providers that includes sharing best practices, assisting with data analysis, and conducting improvement activities.

From August 2011 through July 2014, Stratis Health is:

Enhancing beneficiary and family centered care

Health care quality improvement initiatives result in safer, more effective patient care, lead to better health for populations and communities, and drive lower health care costs through improvement.

Improving care for Minnesotans

  • Engaging patients and families to foster patient-centered care
  • Using case review data to link individual quality of care issues to system-based quality improvement activities, then working with providers to implement improvements
  • Helping Medicare consumers understand their rights, responsibilities, and protections
  • Effectively managing the complaint process by reviewing complaints about quality and appeals about the denial or discontinuation of health care services

Improving individual patient care

Stratis Health is working with hospitals in the state to enhance patient safety initiatives to reduce healthcare-acquired infections. We are facilitating the Collaborative Healthcare Associated Infection Network (CHAIN) with the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology - Minnesota Chapter, Minnesota Department of Health, and Minnesota Hospital Association.

We are leading a statewide collaborative focused on addressing systemic issues and improving overall quality of care in nursing homes, including reducing pressure ulcers and the use of physical restraints. This work will evolve to address other healthcare-acquired conditions, such as falls and CAUTI. To decrease adverse drug events, Stratis Health is bringing community pharmacists, physicians, and facilities together to participate in the national Health Resources and Services Administration collaborative.

Aligning with the priorities of the Minnesota Alliance for Patient Safety (MAPS) and Minnesota's Adverse Health Event Reporting Law, Stratis Health's QIO improvement efforts advance patient safety in Minnesota. We assist hospitals in quality reporting and improvement by linking national and state efforts, including value-based purchasing.

Improving care for Minnesotans

  • Reducing healthcare-acquired infection rates
  • Reducing rates of pressure ulcers and physical restraints in nursing homes
  • Improving drug safety and reducing adverse drug events
  • Reporting publicly available quality data

Improving health for populations and communitiespreventive services

Stratis Health is assisting physician practices that want to use their electronic health record system to coordinate preventive services and report related quality measures to CMS. We are partnering with the Regional Extension Assistance Center for Health Information Technology (REACH), the national Regional Extension Center serving Minnesota and North Dakota, to promote health IT integration into clinical practice. Practices can participate in a learning network focused on improving cardiovascular health in coordination with the national Million Hearts Campaign.

Improving care for Minnesotans

  • Increasing rates of mammography
  • Increasing rates of colorectal cancer screening
  • Increasing rates of flu immunizations
  • Increasing rates of pneumoccocal immunizations
  • Improving cardiovascular health

Integrating care for populations and communities

Stratis Health is partnering with the Minnesota Hospital Association and the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement in leading the RARE Campaign—a statewide campaign to prevent 4,000 avoidable hospital readmissions across Minnesota by the end of 2012. We are bringing together hospitals, nursing homes, patient advocacy organizations, and other stakeholders in a community coalition to build capacity for improving care and care transitions between providers.

Stratis Health is working with three geographic communities within Minnesota, providing additional support and technical assistance, to improve care transitions.

Improving care for Minnesotans

  • Helping 4,000 Minnesotans enjoy 16,000 nights of sleep in their own beds instead of unnecessarily in the hospital

Achieving the goals of the QIO program

Stratis Health is uniquely positioned to effectively and efficiently meet the goals of the Medicare QIO Program in Minnesota. We are well integrated with the Minnesota health care community, with long-standing and strong provider and partner relationships. We have great depth of knowledge and expertise in improving quality and patient safety, have a strong record of performance for all of our contracts and grants, and have continuously held the QIO contract in Minnesota since the inception of the program in the 1970s. Stratis Health, staffed by approximately 60 professionals, possesses strong applied research and clinical experience and expertise in continuous quality improvement theory and implementation, biostatistics, data analysis, data management, medical record abstraction, coding, health education, project management, health informatics, and communications.