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Quality Update - Health care quality issues for Minnesota's health care leaders

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Quality Update Newsletter

Stratis Health publishes the Quality Update Newsletter twice a year. The electronic publication is an update on healthcare quality topics and issues for Minnesota's health care leaders. In this publication we aim to provide Minnesota "thought leaders" with news, issues, and perspectives on health care quality and patient safety.

Current issue

Fall 2018 (8-page PDF)

Addressing Health Equity Requires the Tools of Quality Improvement

We need persistence, innovation, and collaboration to make progress in reducing disparities and improving health equity in Minnesota. We also need actionable tools. Perspective from Jennifer P. Lundblad, Stratis Health President and CEO.

Health is Not an Equal Opportunity

The barriers to equal opportunity for optimal health are structural. Perspective from Jan Malcolm, Stratis Health board member and Commissioner of Health for the State of Minnesota.

Technology in Support of Equity

Technology can be an incredible aid for health care organizations in advancing equitable care, if implemented properly. Perspective from Susan Severson, Vice President, Health Information Technology, Stratis Health.

Minnesota Health Systems Making Health Equity Actionable

Health systems are taking action and reshaping organizational culture in Minnesota's move to address disparities.

Looking at the Numbers: Disparities in Minnesota Hospital Readmission Rates

Minnesota's readmissions data stratified by race and ethnicity shows uneven quality performance, in both state and national data.

Accelerating Health Care Affordability Event

Cross-Sector Leaders Collaborating to Drive Progress, Thurs, Nov. 29, 2018.

Stratis Health News

Past issues

Spring 2018 (8-page PDF)

Fall 2017 (8-page PDF)

Spring 2017 (8-page PDF)

Fall 2016 (8-page PDF)

Spring 2016 (8-page PDF)

Fall 2015 (8-page PDF)

  • Emerging Health Professionals: Today’s Opportunity Community health workers and community paramedics are playing key roles in improving health and health care across settings of care. From Jennifer P. Lundblad, Stratis Health President and CEO.
  • Silos to Circles: Valuing the Whole Continuum An unusually broad group of organizations from across the whole spectrum of health care and social services is attempting to bring our very separate “silos” together. Perspective from Jan Malcom, Stratis Health board member and is president, Courage Kenny Foundation and vice president, public affairs for Allina Health.
  • Medicare Focuses on Mental Health The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched a new two-part initiative through its Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program to improve mental health care for Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Innovating Care Delivery Across Minnesota: Experiments in Care Coordination Communities across Minnesota are exploring innovative strategies to enhance care coordination. Organizations across the care continuum are taking action to build relationships, improve population health, and add value—all key actions to succeed in transforming care and succeed under new payment models. Many of these efforts are being spurred with state and federal support. Here are a few exciting efforts currently underway in Minnesota.
  • The Role of Community-based Organizations in Population Health CBOs/HCBSs need to be able to position their services as tools that advance the health care delivery goals. A Stratis Health survey provides insights on their needs for participating within the framework of value driven health care.
  • Challenge to Rural Communities: Find Your Role in Delivery System Reform For continued viability in a delivery system reformed world, rural health care leaders need to be thinking broadly about health and health care in their communities. Perspective from Karla Weng, Stratis Health rural health specialist.
  • Looking at the Numbers: Critical Access Hospitals Report Medicare Quality Data Rates of CAH reporting varies significantly by state. Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP) provides an opportunity for hospitals to look at their outcomes data and participate in quality improvement initiatives.
  • Stratis Health News

Spring 2015 (8-page PDF)

Fall 2014 (8-page PDF)

Spring 2014 (8-page PDF)

Fall 2013 (8-page PDF)

  • Act Big, While Focusing Locally Stratis Health has started to describe how health care will need to recreate itself, building around a new dichotomy: the power of acting big and being connected while simultaneously focusing on local communities and individuals. From Jennifer P. Lundblad, Stratis Health President and CEO.
  • Changing Role of Health Care Consumers—the Perspective of Two Medicare Consumers Two Medicare consumers share their thoughts on patient satisfaction and the challenges facing health care consumers. Perspective from Dee Kemnitz and Ruth Stryker-Gordon Stratis Health Board members, serving as Medicare consumer representatives
  • Center for Community Health Aims to Amplify Impact Health plans, hospitals, and local public health agencies are coming together through the Center for Community Health, a voluntary collaboration to improve health in the Twin Cities seven-county metropolitan area. It aims to align the community health assessment process and action plans across the sectors.
  • An Actionable Model for Health Reform Stratis Health has developed a model to assist organizations with their visioning and planning for health reform. The model gives health care and community organizations an image of how to respond to the changing marketplace and incentives, and successfully transform care delivery.
  • QAPI—an Approach Supporting Nursing Home Success in Health Reform Quality Assurance Performance Improvement (QAPI) is a proactive, data-driven, systems-based approach that prepares nursing homes well to provide care with better outcomes—improved quality of life, care, and services. A national pilot identified the greatest opportunities with QAPI.
  • EHR is Essential Tool in Patient Centered Medical Home Federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) are participating in patient centered medical home (PCMH) demonstrations. REACH is working with FQHCs in North Dakota to use health IT to support this care transformation. National Committee for Quality Assurance standards for PCMH recognition were mapped to health IT functions.
  • Looking at the numbers: Low Hospice Use for Medicare Consumers in Minnesota Medicare is supporting efforts to increase appropriate use of the hospice benefit, with the aim of improving experience of care at end of life and potentially improving affordability of care by decreasing often unwanted, intensive interventions. Data shows Minnesota ranks below average in Medicare consumer use of hospice.
  • Stratis Health News

Spring 2013 (8-page PDF)

  • Innovating the Future of Health Care We are in the midst of a big national push for innovation in health care, led by the CMS Innovation Center, which was established by the Affordable Care Act in 2010. From Jennifer P. Lundblad, Stratis Health President and CEO.
  • Biomedical and Health Informatics Needed to Support the Triple Aim Our communities are birthing strategies to achieve the Triple Aim, which require health care leaders to foster learning health systems and extensively use biomedical and health informatics. Perspective from Connie Delaney Stratis Health Board member and dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota, where she also is director of Biomedical Health Informatics.
  • Minnesota's State Innovation Model Minnesota is one of six states selected by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center to receive funding to act a laboratory of innovation to support comprehensive approaches to transform the state's health system through new payment and service delivery models.
  • Reducing Readmissions for Minnesota - campaign participants exceeding goal of 4,000 readmissions Congratulations to the 83 hospitals participating in the RARE Campaign (Reducing Avoidable Readmissions Effectively) for exceeding the goal of reducing 4,000 avoidable hospital readmissions. Hospitals and their community partners have successfully helped patients in Minnesota spend 18,280 nights of sleep in their own beds and saved an estimated $45 million in inpatient health care expenditures.
  • Progress Toward EHR Meaningful Use - nearly 4,900 clinicians served Minnesota and North Dakota providers are directly benefitting from REACH services, including 4,882 clinicians and 115 critical access and rural hospitals. Meaningful use attainment for Minnesota and North Dakota REACH clients is 14 percent higher than for regional extension center participants nationally.
  • Looking at the numbers: Medicare Hospital Value-Based Purchasing in Minnesota Hospitals are feeling the first financial impacts of the new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program. Collectively, Minnesota hospitals lost $1,394,175 (-0.01%) when diagnosis-related group (DRG) payment adjustments began with October 1, 2012, discharges.
  • Building Healthier Communities Awards Stratis Health provided grant support for four projects through its Building Healthier Communities award, announced in March in conjunction with National Patient Safety Week.
  • Stratis Health News

Fall 2012 (8-page PDF)

  • Health Policy Affects Lives The importance of good policy making, based on research, data, and real life experiences. From Jennifer P. Lundblad, Stratis Health President and CEO.
  • Geriatricians and the Care of Our Aging Population Many in the health care profession are concerned about how we will provide quality care to the 72 million Baby Boomers aging into the senior population over the next 20 years. Perspective from practicing geriatricians, Michael Spilane, Stratis Health Board member and Jane Pederson, Stratis Health medical affairs director.
  • Health IT’s Role in a Changing Reimbursement Landscape Health information technology (HIT) has become an essential tool in the new care reimbursement models which reward value over volume. Value Based Purchasing, Total Cost of Care, Health Care Homes, and Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) all require new uses of data for health care organizations to succeed in the value driven world.
  • Large Scale Impact to Prepare for the Coming Alzheimer’s Epidemic People are joining forces through the state-wide collaboration ACT on Alzheimer’s, formerly Prepare Minnesota for Alzheimer’s, to prepare Minnesota for the budgetary, social, and personal impacts of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
  • Diabetes: Creating a Common Agenda for Collective Impact Numerous key health care and community leaders, including leadership from Stratis Health, Mayo Clinic, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), came together to learn about the collective impact process. Collective impact emphasizes a rigorous, disciplined, and multi-organizational/multi-sector effort to tackle social and health care problems in concert.
  • Looking at the numbers: Progress Over the Last Decade in Minnesota Nursing Home Quality Measures Over the past 10 years, Minnesota nursing homes have made significant progress in reducing the use of physical restraints and reducing the incidence of pressure ulcers.
  • Stratis Health News

Spring 2012 (8-page PDF)

Fall 2011 (8-page PDF)

Spring 2011 (8-page PDF)

  • 40 Years of Quality Improvement Stratis Health began a year-long celebration of our 40th anniversary as a leader in health care quality improvement and patient safety. From Jennifer P. Lundblad, Stratis Health President and CEO.
  • Fostering Connection— Sustaining Quality in Rural Primary Care Minnesota fosters connection as a means to proactively address future primary care workforce needs. Perspective from Stratis Health Board of Directors member Kathleen Brooks, director of the Rural Physician Associate Program at the Medical School and assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, at the University of Minnesota.
  • Rural Palliative Care Evidence is mounting for this community-based approach. Stratis Health is developing models for palliative care in rural communities, leveraging community capacity development.
  • Making Significant Improvements through Minnesota's Medicare QIO Projects By participating in Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) projects over the past three years, health care providers and organizations in Minnesota made significant improvements in health care processes and patient care, as assessed by more than 40 measures.
  • New Direction for Medicare QIO Work Stratis Health will implement the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) new direction for its national health care quality improvement program. Our work as Minnesota's Medicare QIO will be based on the three broad aims of the National Quality Strategy.
  • National Themes, Issues and Aims Understanding national priorities and issues related to quality and safety can help health care organizations when it comes to defining their own strategic goals.
  • Stratis Health Helps Minnesota Achieve 100% of Hospitals Reporting By the state's reporting deadline in late 2010, all of Minnesota's 79 CAHs and 53 prospective payment system (PPS) hospitals were submitting data.
  • Progress Toward EHR Meaningful Use The Regional Extension Assistance Center for HIT is now serving over 1,000 providers with meaningful use of their electronic health records (EHR) and earning incentive payments.
  • Looking at the numbers: Preventive Screenings in Minnesota Clinics Ten Minnesota clinics increased their EHR-reported rates and achieved the two-year target goals set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) within the first year of the project.
  • Stratis Health News

Fall 2010 (8-page PDF)

Spring 2010 (8-page PDF)

Fall 2009 (8-page PDF)

Contact Stratis Health for assistance with your quality improvement and patient safety needs.

Jennifer P. Lundblad, PhD, MBA, President and CEO


Debra McKinley, MPH, Editor
Director of Communications