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New Video: Controlling Hypertension through Team-Based Care
Qualis Health has produced a video about an enrollee in our Regional Extension Center for health IT. Peninsula Community Health Services (PCHS), a federally qualified health center in Washington State, has been recognized by the CDC as one of only 30 "Million Hearts Hypertension Control Champions" for 2014. These Champions achieved blood pressure control for at least 70% of their patients through innovations in health IT and electronic health records, patient communication, and healthcare team approaches. Watch "Controlling Hypertension through Team-Based Care" to learn how PCHS did it.
Qualis Health NHSN Analytics Webinar This Week
On Friday, June 12, Quality Improvement Consultants Jamie Moran and Martha Jaworski will present "National Healthcare Safety Network Analysis for Real (and Busy) People!" This free one-hour webinar will explain—in terms real people can understand—the purpose, differences between and real-world application of the many output options in NHSN. Find registration and more information here.
Read HAI Digest June Edition
HAI Digest, presented by Qualis Health's HAI Prevention team, offers current news on healthcare-associated infections and upcoming HAI-related opportunities for infection preventionists and other Idaho and Washington healthcare professionals. Read the June Edition of HAI Digest.
Qualis Health to Exhibit at AR Academy of Family Physicians Annual Scientific Assembly
Qualis Health will have a booth in the exhibitors' area of the Arkansas Academy of Family Physicians 2015 Annual Scientific Assembly. Held June 10–13 in Little Rock, this is the AAFP's 68th annual assembly. We look forward to seeing you there! Visit the Arkansas Academy of Family Physicians website for more information.
Qualis Health Offers PQRS Webinar
On Tuesday, June 9, Qualis Health Quality Improvement Consultant Chanda Neth will present a free webinar, "2015 PQRS: What You Need to Know to Avoid the 2017 Penalities." The webinar will provide a summary of the 2015 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) data submission—including the requirements, reporting mechanisms, and linkage between PQRS and the Physician Value-based Modifier (VM) program. Learn more.
Jeff West to Speak at The Waves of Change in Health Care
On June 4, Jeff West, RN, MPH, Quality Improvement Consultant, will present "Medication Reconciliation in Transitions of Care" at the 2015 Care Transitions Conference—The Waves of Change in Health Care—in Renton, WA. This conference is focused on improving community-based healthcare and reducing unnecessary hospitalizations in south King County, WA. Qualis Health is proud to be a sponsor of this year's conference. Visit the conference website for more information.
AHRQ Grant Funds Group Health, ITHS, Qualis Health, OHSU Partnership
The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has funded the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation at Group Health Research Institute to lead a three-year project aimed at improving heart health among patients in primary care practices and the quality of care delivered by those practices. One of seven regional partnerships throughout the nation, Healthy Hearts Northwest will help small and mid-sized practices in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Qualis Health, the Oregon Rural Practice Research Network at the Oregon Health & Science University, and the Institute of Translational Health Sciences are partnering with the MacColl Center in this initiative. Read the press release to learn more.
NRPC Readmissions Summit Welcomes Qualis Health's Selena Bolotin
On May 28, Selena Bolotin, LICSW, Director, Washington Care Transitions and Patient Safety, will facilitate a panel discussion at the National Readmissions Prevention Collaborative Readmissions Summit in Seattle. The panel, "Care Coordination: Becoming a Preferred Provider in a Narrow Network," will discuss prioritizing home-based care and discharge to home.
Qualis Health 2014 Report to the Community Published
Qualis Health has published our 2014 Report to the Community, an update on our work to improve the experience of healthcare, improve the health of populations and reduce per the capita costs of healthcare. In it, you'll find highlights of our services, clients and results. Read the 2014 Report to the Community.
Qualis Health Staff to Lead WHCA Convention Educational Sessions
This year's Washington Health Care Association Annual Convention & Expo will include educational sessions led by Qualis Health staff on Thursday, May 21. Aimee Ford, MS, RN, and Jamie Moran, MSN, RN, CMSRN, CIC, will present "The Role of Leadership in Implementing an Evidence-Based Infection Control Program to Improve Quality, Efficiency and Effectiveness in Skilled Nursing" Sharon Eloranta, MD; Aimee Ford MS, RN; and Jeff West, RN, MPH; will present "Who's in Pain in Your Building and Why? A Look at Disparities in Pain Management" Selena Bolotin, LICSW, will present "Skilled Nursing 30-Day Rehospitalizations: Do You Know Where Your Discharged Patient Is?" Qualis Health is proud to be a sponsor of the 2015 WHCA Annual Convention & Expo.
Diabetes in Washington State Webinar Series Session Two Coming May 20
On May 20, Qualis Health will present the second webinar in a three-part series on the results of the 2014 Washington State Diabetes Epidemic & Action Report. "Session 2: Community Solutions" is for clinicians who work with people with diabetes and will focus on community-based actions that can promote improvement in health outcomes related to diabetes and pre-diabetes. Wendy Bart of the YMCA of Greater Seattle and Eudora Carter of the Center for MultiCultural Health will speak. Learn more about the webinar and register online.
Qualis Health Co-Hosts Ventilator-Associated Events Webinar
On May 19, Qualis Health, in collaboration with other Quality Improvement Network – Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs), will present a webinar called "Ventilator-Associated Events: A Patient Safety Opportunity." Led by Harvard Medical School's Dr. Michael Klompas, this session is intended for hospital leadership, nurses, physicians, quality improvement staff, infection preventionists and other healthcare-associated infection project team members. Learn more and register online.
AUCH Annual Conference Speakers to Include Regina Neal
On May 15, Qualis Health's Director of Practice Development and Client Relations Regina Neal will speak about patient-centered interactions at the Association for Utah Community Health's (AUCH) Annual Primary Care Conference in Salt Lake City. AUCH is Utah's Primary Care Association.
Selena Bolotin to Present Two SSWLHC National Webinars
On May 13 and 27, Selena Bolotin, LICSW, Qualis Health's Director of Washington Care Transitions & Patient Safety, will present "Readmission Risk Assessment—And Then What" during two (repeated) Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care (SSWLHC) national webinars. These webinars are part of the SSWLHC's continuing education program and are available to both members and non-members.
National QIO Program Progress Report Includes Qualis Health's Work
A new web-based Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program Progress Report is now available from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for the Medicare Quality Improvement Program. The report includes a story about Qualis Health's Volunteer Health Advocate pilot project in Washington State, and another about Qualis Health's partnership with the Washington State Hospital Engagement Network. Go to the 2014 QIO Program Progress Report. View the video about Qualis Health's Volunteer Advocate pilot project. Read about Qualis Health's partnership with the Washington State Hospital Engagement Network. The American Health Quality Association (AHQA) recently released a statement congratulating CMS on the release of the report. Read AHQA's statement.
"Integrating Medical and Dental Care" at OPCA Symposium
On April 23, Qualis Health PCMH Program Director Kathryn Phillips will present "Integrating Medical and Dental Care: Movement Towards a Patient-Centered Health Home" as part of a panel presentation at the Oregon Primary Care Association Quadruple Aim Symposium in Portland. Kathryn will share strategies primary care practices can use to improve patient and family oral health by including oral health preventive care as a component of routine medical care.
Idaho Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Conference This Week
On April 16 and 17, the 2015 Idaho Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Conference will take place in Boise. This year's conference features speeches from Joe Flower and Joan Edicott, as well as presentations by Idaho healthcare professionals and Qualis Health staff. Additionally, Qualis Health will present its annual Awards of Excellence in Healthcare Quality, recognizing Idaho organizations' achievements in improving healthcare quality and outcomes. Learn more about the Idaho Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Conference.
New Videos Added to Qualis Health's YouTube Channel
Two videos have recently been added to Qualis Health's YouTube channel. In Qualis Health: Your Trusted Health IT Advisor, colleagues from the Seattle Indian Health Board talk about the value of an external consulting partner like WIREC/Qualis Health. Taking the Thickened Liquid Challenge features Qualis Health Quality Improvement Consultant Aimee Ford as she participates in an online challenge to raise awareness about a quality-of-life concern in nursing homes by drinking honey-thick liquids for 12 hours.
Carol Higgins to Present at HCAW Annual Conference
Qualis Health Quality Improvement Consultant Carol Higgins, CPHQ, OTR (Retired), Certified INTERACT Educator, will make two presentations at the Home Care Association of Washington's Annual Conference on April 16. Carol will speak on "Joining the INTERACT Program Team for Home Health" in the morning and "HHQI Cardiovascular Data Registry Playbook" in the afternoon.
Sugarman to Conduct AAOS Educational Session
On March 26, Qualis Health President and CEO Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH, will conduct an educational session, "Strategies to Enhance Value and Improve Patient Experience Through Patient-Centered Care," at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 2015 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, NV. He will be joined by Thomas S. Boniface, MD; Thomas J. Grogan, MD; and James B. Rickert, MD. Visit the conference website to learn more.
Washington State SSWLHC Conference Welcomes Selena Bolotin
On March 24, Selena Bolotin, Qualis Health's Director of Washington Care Transitions and Patient Safety, will be presenting "Readmission Risk Assessment... and Then What" to the Washington State chapter of the Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care at their Educational Conference and Resource Fair in Seattle.
Kathryn Phillips to Speak at 2015 National Medical Home Summit
Qualis Health PCMH Director Kathryn Phillips will present "Key Factors in Successful Integration of Behavioral Health and Primary Care" at the National Medical Home Summit on Tuesday, March 24 in Philadelphia. Her presentation is part of the Mini Summit on Lessons from PCMH on Implementation Visit the National Medical Home Summit website for more information.
Qualis Health to Consult on New University of Kansas Rural PCMH Work
A team of researchers from the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare Center for Children & Families has been approved for a Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to support work focused on rural patient and provider perspectives on the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model. The project includes collaboration with community partners from Kansas and Missouri, including REACH Healthcare Foundation, Thrive Allen County, Health Care Collaborative of Rural Missouri and Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas. Qualis Health will provide consultation. Learn more about the project.
Patient Portal Implementation Webinar Coming January 27
Qualis Health's Technical Operations Manager and Senior Consultant John Hartgraves will present a webinar called "Implementing Your Patient Portal in a HITECH World" on Tuesday, January 27. In it, he'll provide information how to successfully implement a patient portal in your clinic using a four-point strategy that includes patient engagement, clinical workflow, technology and planning. Get more information.
Jonathan Sugarman to Present at STFM Conference on Practice Improvement
Qualis Health President and CEO Jonathan Sugarman is presenting "Taking Stock—Quality Measurement in Primary Care" at the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine's Conference on Practice Improvement. This annual event provides a venue for learning from those on the front line of improving primary care practice.
QualityNet Speakers Include Qualis Health Staff
This year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' annual healthcare quality conference, QualityNet, will include four speakers from Qualis Health. Selena Bolotin, Director of Care Transitions and Patient Safety, will be part of a panel on innovative community engagement approaches. Medical Director Sharon Eloranta, Health IT Consultant Kelley Carnwath and Decision Support Consultant Meghan Donohue will present "Racial Disparities in Health: Learning from and Acting on Data."
New Video: Neighbors Helping Neighbors Navigate the Health System
None of us are at our best when ill or under stress—yet those are the very conditions that patients often experience when they interact with healthcare professionals. How can we be sure that patients fully understand the implications of their diagnosis, their discharge instructions or other important news related to their health? One solution is to bring along another person to take notes, ask questions and listen carefully to the patient. That's where Volunteer Health Advocates can play an important role. Learn how we collaborated to design the project, develop the curriculum and provide training to the first set of Volunteer Health Advocates. Watch "Neighbors Helping Neighbors Navigate the Health System" on YouTube.
Qualis Health Gold Sponsor of NAMD Fall Conference
From November 3 through November 5, the National Association of Medicaid Directors Fall Conference is taking place in Arlington, Virginia. Qualis Health is a Gold Sponsor and will be exhibiting at the event. You can find us at booth #105 in the exhibit hall. Go to the NAMD Fall Conference website.
Qualis Health Exhibits at MGMA14
We're looking forward to exhibiting at the Medical Group Management Association 2014 Annual Conference. This year's event is taking place October 26–29 in Las Vegas and the theme is "Always Forward." We'll be in booth #148; please stop by and say hi.
Director Bolotin to Speak at Elder Friendly Futures Conference
On October 8, Qualis Health Director of Washington Care Transitions and Patient Safety Selena Bolotin will present "Volunteer Health Advocates Support Neighbors for Better Health Outcomes" at the University of Washington's Building Elder Friendly Futures Locally and Globally conference. Qualis Health is a Silver Sponsor of the conference.
Qualis Health at IHA Conference
The Idaho Hospital Association's (IHA's) 81st Annual Convention is October 4 through 7 in Sun Valley. Qualis Health President and CEO Jonathan Sugarman will be presenting "Implications of the 'High Value of Healthcare' Movement for Idaho Hospitals. A View From Qualis Health." Other Qualis Health staff, including Zach Hodges, Martha Jaworski, Kelly McGrath, Christine Packer, Linda Rowe and Julie Sylvester, will also be speaking at the conference. Qualis Health is a Silver Sponsor of the IHA convention and will be exhibiting there as well. Visit the Idaho Hospital Association's website for more information.
Peggy Evans Published in Journal of General Internal Medicine
Qualis Health's Peggy Evans, Director of WIREC and CMS Health IT, is co-author of "Provider Perceptions of the Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs: A Survey of Eligible Professionals Who Have and Have Not Attested to Meaningful Use." Published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the paper examines the perspectives and experiences of a random sample of Idaho and Washington healthcare professionals eligible for financial incentives for demonstrating meaningful use of their EHRs. View the abstract of "Provider Perceptions of the Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs: A Survey of Eligible Professionals Who Have and Have Not Attested to Meaningful Use."
Qualis Health Launches YouTube Channel
In June, Qualis Health launched its new YouTube channel and has been updating it regularly since then. Over a dozen videos provide guidance to healthcare providers on a variety of subjects including hand hygiene, fall reduction and care transitions. Visit our YouTube channel.
Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care Publishes Results of a Qualis Health Co-Designed Model to Transform Primary Care Education and Practice
The Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care has published an article in Academic Medicine that outlines the accomplishments of a joint project with Qualis Health and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). The two-year learning collaborative that Qualis Health and IHI designed for Harvard led to successful implementation of improvements that affect more than 450 resident physicians and more than 260,000 patients in the greater Boston area. Read an abstract of this article and what the work entailed.
New CMS Data Show QIOs Improved Care for Nation's Medicare Beneficiaries
New data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) show that the nation's Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs), including Qualis Health, have prevented more than 95,000 hospitalizations and 27,000 hospital readmissions among Medicare beneficiaries, working in close partnership with providers, federal, state and private partners and others in local communities. Read more from the American Health Quality Association.
Governor Inslee Appoints Jonathan Sugarman to Health Performance Measures Coordinating Committee
Qualis Health President and CEO Jonathan Sugarman was recently appointed to the Health Performance Measures Coordinating Committee by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee. The committee is charged with recommending standard statewide measures of health performance to inform public and private purchasers, as well as proposing benchmarks to track costs and improvements in health outcomes in Washington State.
New White Paper Details Learnings from REACH Healthcare Foundation Medical Home Initiative
A new white paper prepared by Bonni Brownlee, Qualis Health's Director of Quality Improvement and Compliance Consulting Services, was released this month. Commissioned by the REACH Healthcare Foundation, The Journey Towards the Patient-Centered Medical Home—The Kansas City Experience is intended to disseminate the learnings from the Foundation's Medical Home Initiative to the broader health community as primary care practice is redesigned to adopt the patient-centered medical home model of care. It examines the journeys of nine safety net primary care clinics in Kansas City as they worked with a technical assistance team from Qualis Health to integrate components of patient-centered care into their daily work. Learn more about our work on the REACH Medical Home Initiative.
Qualis Health Launches Online Quality Reporting Resource Center for Hospitals
With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Medicare is now aligning hospital and provider reimbursement with performance as part of the national effort to control costs and ensure quality for patients. The Medicare pay-for-performance effort is based on hospital data reporting programs that focus on clinical outcomes and patient experience of care during hospital stays. Qualis Health's Quality Reporting Resource Center provides the support that hospitals need, including a seven-step Roadmap to Effective Quality Data Reporting, to strengthen their use of quality data to participate effectively in Medicare's data reporting and pay-for-performance programs. The Roadmap will also help hospitals systematically monitor and improve results for their patients and communities.
Qualis Health PCMH Article Published
Health Services Research published a paper authored by members of Qualis Health's Safety Net Medical Home Initiative project team in its December issue. Authored by Donna Daniel, former Practice Transformation & Measurement Director, Jonathan Sugarman, President & CEO, Kathryn Phillips, Patient-Centered Medical Home Program Director, and colleagues from the Group Health Research Institute, "Assessing Progress toward Becoming a Patient-Centered Medical Home: An Assessment Tool for Practice Transformation" describes the properties of the Patient-Centered Medical Home Assessment (PCMH-A) as a tool to stimulate and monitor progress among primary care practices interested in transforming to patient-centered medical homes. The piece is part of the "Best of The 2013 AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting" section of the journal, which includes the top presenters at the leading annual conference of health services researchers.
Thought Leaders Forum Examines Racial Disparities in Hospital Readmissions
In an effort to reduce racial disparities in Washington State hospital readmissions, Qualis Health recently convened a thought leaders forum. Representatives from a variety of organizations gathered to brainstorm disparity causes and solutions. They also identified actions to create positive change, additional information needed and voices missing from the conversation. The forum was so successful that the group plans to meet again soon. View state disparities reports for Medicare beneficiaries.
Compliance Today Interviews Jan Cunningham
The Health Care Compliance Association's magazine, Compliance Today, spoke with Qualis Health's Director of Risk Management and Compliance Officer, Jan Cunningham, along with Timothy Ferriss, Compliance Specialist - Privacy, of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. In the magazine's December issue, Jan shares her tactics for using Corporate Compliance & Ethics Week to engage staff and raise awareness of the importance of compliance and ethics within Qualis Health. Read the interview.
Final WIREC Newsletter: Change is the Word
In this last addition of WIREC Insider, Executive Director Peggy Evans discusses how WIREC and Qualis Health will move forward now that much of the federal regional extension center grant subsidies are coming to an end.
ALTSA-Qualis Health Partnership Success Nationally Recognized
The National Coordinating Center for the Integrating Care for Populations & Communities Aim has released a video outlining some of the achievements arising from collaboration between the Aging and Long-Term Support Administration (ALTSA) and Qualis Health. ALTSA, a division of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, and Qualis Health, Medicare's Quality Improvement Organization in Idaho and Washington, aligned efforts to improve care coordination in Washington through community-based interventions.
Video Shares Success Story from Qualis Health PCMH Initiative
High Plains Working for Health tells the story of High Plains Community Health Center, a federally qualified health center that has transformed lives through improved quality of care and pathways out of poverty in rural Southeastern Colorado. High Plains is one of 17 Colorado community health centers that participated in the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative, a five-year project designed to help primary care safety net sites become high-performing patient-centered medical homes. The Initiative was led by The Commonwealth Fund, Qualis Health and the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation at the Group Health Research Institute.
Reap an Abundance of Health IT News in October WIREC Insider
In this month's WIREC Insider, read about Keith Davis, MD, the Idaho WIREC enrollee named 2014 Family Physician of the Year by the American Academy of Family Physicians. Get hot tips from the ONC-endorsed Meaningful Use Burning Issues Workgroup. Learn about Clinical Decision Support and the Five Rights. And of course, get the latest EHR and meaningful use news from across the nation.
Medical Home Digest Series Concludes with Lessons Learned and a Look Ahead
In the final issue of the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative's Medical Home Digest, participants reflect on their PCMH journeys over the past five years. They also provide a view to what lies down the road. Judith Schaefer, MPH, of the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation, discusses how these SNMHI participants benefitted from learning communities. Additionally, the Digest summarizes recent updates to the SNMHI's comprehensive library of tools and resources. Visit the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative website.
Security Risk Analysis a WIREC Hot Topic
August's WIREC Insider focuses on the HIPAA security risk analysis required of all covered entities. Find out how Steele Memorial Medical Center developed and used their "textbook perfect" HIPAA security risk analysis plan, and learn how WIREC can help you with yours.
Video Featuring Qualis Health’s Community Care Transitions Project
Medicare recently posted a video about the Qualis Health-involved Kitsap County Cross Continuum Care Transitions Project (KC4TP). It features interviews with key players in the success of the project speaking frankly about what wasn’t working—and what they did about it.
Explore the WIREC Insider July Edition
WIREC Insider profiles an Idaho clinic, Pocatello Family Medicine (PFM), which was recently featured as a "Health IT Success Story" on HealthIT.gov. Highlights of the story include PFM’s electronic health record (EHR) implementation strategy; the quality improvement effects of EHR; and lessons learned from their EHR transformation. In this issue, you will also find information about WIREC Packaged Service #4; WIREC services coming to a close in 2014 with options for continued Health IT support; and Health IT news.
National Care Transitions Team Visits Qualis Health to Observe Best Practice
This week, Qualis Health hosts a team from Medicare's national coordinating center for improving care transitions, the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care. They recognized Qualis Health's work with communities across Washington and Idaho as best practice, and are visiting local Washington State communities to observe our successful strategies in action. As a Medicare Quality Improvement Organization, Qualis Health has exceeded Medicare's recruitment goals for engaging healthcare providers, stakeholders and consumers to improve care transitions and reduce unnecessary hospital readmissions. Moreover, the interventions we've put in place are already showing improvement in community admissions and readmission rates. Visit our Medicare website.

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Evan Stults
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