It's Worth a Shot

The Biden Administration has launched a six-week campaign urging Americans to get their updated COVID-19 vaccine. Encouraging Americans to get their updated bivalent vaccine will help avoid thousands of preventable COVID-19 deaths, even as people gather for the winter holidays. 


Visit our dedicated webpage to learn how nursing homes can participate in this nationwide campaign to boost booster rates and protect the health of our most vulnerable populations. Stay tuned for updates on upcoming educational offerings, a podcast for medical directors, a toll-free number where you can direct questions, access new tools and resources, and more.

U.S. Flu Hospitalizations Highest in a Decade

The cumulative number of hospitalizations for the flu is at its highest point in this part of the influenza season since 2010-2011.

The CDC estimates the flu has caused at least 13 million illnesses, 120,000 hospitalizations and 7,300 deaths since October. The rise in cases comes at a time when hospitals are also treating patients presenting with Covid-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Although RSV infections have fallen in recent weeks, Covid-19 hospitalizations are on the rise. According to the New York Times’ Covid-19 dashboard, roughly 37,500 people are currently hospitalized with Covid-19, up 31% from two weeks ago.

With the holiday season quickly approaching hospitals at or near capacity, the CDC joined the Administration in strongly encouraging all Americans to get their flu shots and updated boosters. 

The IPRO QIN-QIO applauds your efforts to boost vaccination rates across your community. Access our Values in Vaccination Video Series, Influenza, Pneumococcal and COVID-19 Immunization Toolkit and join the Vax Chat (see above) for strategies to make your campaign a success.

Upcoming Education

Increasing the Focus on Complex Care

Patients with unmet behavioral and social needs correlate with high utilization and poor outcomes. A complex care approach can help you better support patients, create community connections, and decrease utilization. Join us for upcoming sessions:

December 15 at 12 noon -1 pm

Screening, Referral, and Closing the Loop

January 5 at 12 noon

Learning Circle/Screening Review Check-In

January 19 at 12pm -1pm

Understanding and Addressing Health Equity as a Driver for Readmissions

Vax Chat


Join Vax Chat every other Thursday morning from 7:45 - 8 am for a brief but impactful conversation about the latest topics in vaccines. A single registration allows you to join us, whenever it works best for you.




December 13

IPRO QIN-QIO High-Risk Medication Safety Monthly Learning Circle


Our next meeting is January 4 from 2 - 3 pm ET with subsequent sessions on the first Wednesday of each month.


Email to receive a calendar invitation for the Medication Safety Monthly Learning Circle. 

Health Equity Affinity Group


Led by IPRO Health Equity subject matter experts (SMEs), the Health Equity Organizational Assessment (HEOA) Affinity Group will work together to advance opportunities for improvement identified from your organization’s HEOA report. We will meet from 12 - 12:45 pm ET on the second Thursday of each month. Join upcoming sessions:

January 12

February 9

March 9

April 13

May 11

Resource Library

Curated by our experts, the IPRO QIN-QIO resource library contains tools, links and information on everything from care coordination to COVID-19 and CKD to social determinants of health. Use the Resource Picker to find what you need, or check out this month's featured resources:


Improving Care Transitions: A Guide to Tools & Resources for Providers and Patients and Complex Care Compendium: A Guide to Support Better Outcomes for People with Complex Needs will help inform approaches to support individuals with complex care needs.

Our new Guide to Screening Patients for Social Isolation/Loneliness and Guide to Screening Patients for Transportation Barriers offer information and best practices, including validated two-question assessments that can be used at point-of-care to screen patients. Both also include resources for patients who screen positive for food insecurity.

Opioid, Pain Management, and Behavioral Health

The CDC has a new Clinical Practice Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Pain. This guideline provides recommendations for clinicians providing pain care, including those prescribing opioids, for outpatients aged ≥18 years. It updates the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain — United States, 2016 (MMWR Recomm Rep 2016;65[No. RR-1]:1–49) and includes recommendations for managing acute (duration of <1 month), subacute (duration of 1–3 months), and chronic (duration of >3 months) pain.

The holidays can be a stressful time for some. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that 64% of people with mental illness report worse symptoms during the season. Additionally, though conditions are safer, COVID-19 still poses a risk which may foster feelings of loneliness and isolation during the holiday season. For behavioral health workers, the end of the year could lead to overwhelming feelings of burnout. NAMI provides helpful guides on how to care for yourself when the holidays get difficult. From NAMI, you can also find articles on prioritizing self-care and handling stress during the holiday season.

Emergency Prep and Infection Control

Are you working in a rural area? Check out the Rural Emergency Preparedness and Response Toolkit for evidence-based and promising models and resources to support your emergency planning, response, and recovery efforts. Rural Emergency Preparedness and Response Toolkit - RHIhub (

Chronic Disease Management

Participation in Cardiac Rehabilitation can reduce the risk of death from cardiac causes, and improve medication adherence, mood, functional status and quality of life for patients. To help build awareness about the benefits of Cardiac Rehab, share this educational video: Cardiac Rehab at Johns Hopkins Medicine - YouTube

Are you working in the New England area and referring patients to Cardiac Rehab programs? Simplify your process by using the IPRO QIN-QIO list of Cardiac Rehab Programs in New England, found on our Resource Library.

Health Equity

Don't miss our December Health Equity Newsletter, packed with the latest information on how you can work to eliminate healthcare disparities. This month, read about racial and ethnic differences in bystander CPR, strategies to reduce bias in healthcare delivery, food as medicine, the business case for social needs intervention, and more.


People with physical disabilities should have access to the same medical services as everyone else. Getting the Care You Need: A Guide for People with Disabilities helps those with disabilities understand how to get the care they need before, during and after an appointment with a provider.


HHS National CLAS Standards Assessment

CLAS means culturally and linguistically appropriate services. CLAS improves the ability of organizations to successfully communicate and provide care to patients with diverse beliefs, backgrounds, and values. IPRO is working with hospitals and providers to update their health education, communication and beneficiary-engagement products to ensure that CLAS considerations are included to advance health equity. The first step is to take the Assessment of Cultural and Linguistic Services to identify the CLAS services your organization is already providing and where there are opportunities for improvement. IPRO will launch an educational series in January to help organizations develop a CLAS implementation plan, discuss evidence-based interventions to improve CLAS, and share best practices.

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The IPRO QIN-QIO works to ensure high-quality, safe health care in New England, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
This material was prepared by the IPRO QIN-QIO, a Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization, under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Views expressed in this document do not necessarily reflect the official views or policy of CMS or HHS, and any reference to a specific product or entity herein does not constitute endorsement of that product or entity by CMS or HHS. 12SOW-IPRO-QIN-T1-AA-21-435