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Qualis Health Honors Idaho Healthcare Providers

April 15, 2010

Boise, ID - Qualis Health presented the "2009 Awards of Excellence in Healthcare Quality" today, recognizing five outstanding healthcare organizations in Idaho. Selected from healthcare providers across the state, the five awardees were honored during a luncheon ceremony at the annual Idaho Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Conference.

Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH, President and CEO of Qualis Health, Sharon Wilson, RN, BSN, PMP, Director, Idaho Medicare Operations, and Karl B. Kurtz, Secretary/Treasurer of the Qualis Health Board of Directors, presented the awards, acknowledging the significant contributions to Idaho’s patient populations by the 23 healthcare organizations that submitted entries this year.

"The exceptional projects submitted for this year's Quality Awards represent Idaho’s steadfast commitment to healthcare excellence," said Dr. Sugarman. "Each organization's entry exemplified a dedication to quality improvement that has resulted in truly innovative patient outcomes."

Healthcare providers from throughout Idaho nominated projects for the annual Awards contest beginning last January. A panel of five judges independently scored each entry on a 100-point scale. The awardees were given the opportunity to showcase their quality improvement projects through a special educational presentation at the conference.

In addition to the Qualis Health "Awards of Excellence in Healthcare Quality," the Idaho Consortium for Healthcare Performance Improvement is honoring two provider organizations with a new quality improvement award recognizing exemplary efforts to improve primary care in Idaho.

Winning the Idaho Consortium for Healthcare Performance Improvement 2009 Award of Excellence in Healthcare Quality is Family Health Center of Sandpoint, Idaho. Honorable mention goes to St. Luke's Internal Medicine (SLIM), St. Luke's Health System, Idaho.

Idaho healthcare organizations that were honored with an Award of Excellence include:

Bingham Memorial Hospital, Blackfoot, ID

By comparing clinical outcomes associated with anticoagulation therapy provided by a clinical pharmacy anticoagulation service (CPAS) to usual care, Bingham Memorial Hospital was able to develop a centralized, telephonic pharmacist-managed monitoring service program. Patients in the intervention CPAS group were 40% more likely to be in the recommended therapeutic INR (International Normalized Ratio—the measurement of how quickly blood clots) range than patients in the original control group. The hospital was able to conclude that a centralized, telephonic pharmacist-managed anticoagulation monitoring service will reduce the risk of therapy-related complications and improve overall patient health and compliance.

Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, Idaho Falls, ID

Eastern Idaho inaugurated an all-encompassing program to improve care in its ER by participating in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Web & Action Program and by applying Lean and Six Sigma tools. The medical center increased its patient satisfaction to a two-year high by reducing the number of patients who left the ER without being seen by 83%, also significantly reducing the time in which patients were actually seen and admitted to the hospital.

Guardian Home Care and Hospice, Nampa, ID

When Guardian Home Care and Hospice discovered that it had a 7% increase in acute care hospitalizations in December 2008, it developed a team to investigate the cause of the increase. The investigation revealed that the organization needed to reinforce its patients' emergency care plans and use more accurate Outcome and Assessment Data Set (OASIS) documentation training and retraining. Documentation improvements to patient/caregiver education of the disease process were also put into place. Guardian Home Care and Hospice also discovered that the organization had a 29% increase in census and was able to add more staff to its care team. As a result, 100% compliance has been implemented in the emergency care plan, and acute care hospitalizations have been reduced by 14% from 3rd quarter 09 to 4th quarter 09.

Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, Boise, ID

The Pressure Ulcer Team at Saint Alphonsus developed a program to reduce the incidence of pressure ulcers throughout the hospital. With the support of senior management and by creating a campaign related to the engagement of best practices stemming from education of both nurses and families, the team was able to change the culture of the organization and decrease the incidence rate of pressure ulcers by half.

St. Luke's Heart and St. Luke's Idaho Cardiology Associates, St. Luke's Boise and Meridian Medical Centers, Boise, ID

Through their innovative STEMI (ST-elevation myocardial infarction) Program, St. Luke's Health System has improved their "door to PCI" (percutaneous coronary intervention time—the time it takes when a patient actually arrives at the hospital and begins receiving interventional care) to 63 minutes. This is far less than the national standard of less than 90 minutes and the national average of 100 minutes. By collecting vital data in real time, any variances, delays or concerns can be addressed at the time of the event. St. Luke's also follows the Plan-Do-Study-Act methodology at department STEMI meetings and utilizes key stakeholders such as cardiologists, emergency department physicians, RNs and EMS representatives. The team will be providing comprehensive education on STEMI guidelines to healthcare providers at the upcoming Idaho Regional Statewide STEMI Summit.

Qualis Health congratulates the 2009 Excellence in Healthcare Quality and Performance Improvement honorees.


About Qualis Health

Qualis Health is dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare delivery and health outcomes for populations across the nation. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, the nonprofit organization serves as the CMS-designated Quality Improvement Organization for the State of Idaho, in addition to providing care management services for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Medicaid Division. Qualis Health serves both government and private clients, working with them to guide healthcare forward.

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