Collaboration among patients, families and healthcare providers is a powerful—and innovative—way to achieve the vision of the National Quality Strategy: improved health, improved care and lower costs through continuous improvement. Qualis Health is at the forefront of the effort through a pioneering project to test new methods to bring families and providers together to improve care by reducing infection risk in the hospital setting.
Tina Schwien, MN, MPH, Qualis Health Quality Improvement Consultant, is among the inaugural group of 72 experts across the country selected for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) Innovation Advisors Program. The initiative, launched by the CMS Innovation Center in October 2011, is helping health professionals deepen skills that will drive improvements in patient care and reduce healthcare costs.
Ms. Schwien, as part of the Innovation Advisor Program, is testing the feasibility and impact of implementing a facilitated infection-control huddle with patient families in the hospital setting. Occurring at a standard time and place on an inpatient floor throughout the week, these huddles provide a practical means to incorporate patient families into the healthcare team while simultaneously enhancing communication and basic infection prevention skills—such as hand hygiene. It is hypothesized that this collaboration among patient families and healthcare providers will result in better experience and better care, and ultimately increase the reliability of processes that help reduce harm due to infection.
The Innovation Advisors Program is designed to deepen the capacity for transformation of the healthcare system by creating and supporting a nationwide network of experts to drive change. Across the country, Advisors like Ms. Schwien are testing new models of care delivery by forming local partnerships to drive delivery system change so that communities will have better health and better care at a lower cost.
Tina Schwien, MN, MPH
Quality Improvement Consultant, Qualis Health
CMS Innovation Advisor