Advancing Quality Improvement Efforts through Coordination

Quality improvement leaders from Massachusetts hospitals and patient safety organizations met at MHA headquarters in Burlington on Wednesday to have a focused conversation on whether to, and how to, align the numerous healthcare quality initiatives now occurring across the commonwealth. Questions posed throughout the half-day forum centered on: which topic areas should the healthcare community focus on (ex. Readmissions? Opioids? Employee burnout? Etc.). How do you get hospital leadership, and state officials, engaged? How exactly would coordination work? And, importantly, would a new, coordinated effort duplicate other efforts now underway in the state?

Laura Adams, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Quality Institute, and Sam Watson, SVP for Patient Safety and Quality at the Michigan Health & Hospital Association and executive director of the Keystone Center for Patient Safety presented on their success in building alignment on high-quality care. Attendees then broke off into a series of rapid-fire thought exercises to narrow down the focus.

What was the final takeaway? Pat Noga, R.N., FAAN, MHA’s VP of Clinical Affairs, “There was consensus that a unified, coordinated response to a single quality issue – with definable goals and conditions to ensure that the combined effort would be meaningful and not burdensome – would be a way to move the needle on quality improvement in the state.” Noga said she is assembling a smaller coordinating group to work on the next steps of the process.