Tuesday, March 7, 2017
In Practice 
Tips, Tools & Education for Improving Outpatient Care
Antibiotic Stewardship
Partner with HQI to Improve Antibiotic Stewardship in Your Community
Every day, health care providers across Virginia and Maryland strive to improve health in their communities. However, inappropriate antibiotic prescribing practices are putting patients at risk for super-resistant infections, Clostridium difficile (C. diff) and other complications. Each year, two million U.S. patients are affected by resistant infections; 23,000 of those patients will die.

By working together, we can improve the use of antibiotics and protect patients from resistant infections. Health Quality Innovators (HQI), the Quality Innovation Network for Maryland and Virginia, invites emergency departments, physician practices, ambulatory surgery centers and other outpatient facilities to join a new initiative: Combatting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria through Antibiotic Stewardship in Communities (CARB-TASC). 

This no-cost project will help you implement the four core elements of antibiotic stewardship developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The four elements will help you:  1) Make a commitment; 2) Take action; 3) Track and report; and 4) Provide education and expertise. 

There are no data reporting requirements for participating clinicians and you can implement the CDC's four elements at a pace that works for your practice or facility. HQI will provide talking points, strategies and resources to help you educate patients and families about the appropriate use of antibiotics. In addition, implementing an antibiotic stewardship program is one of the approved quality improvement activities available to clinicians participating in the Merit-based Incentive Payment Program (MIPS).

Visit http://bit.ly/CombattingAntibioticResistance to learn more and sign up for this initiative. Questions? Contact Deb Smith, Virginia Improvement Consultant, at dsmith@hqi.solutions or 804.289.5320 or Katie Richards, Maryland Improvement Consultant, at krichards@hqi.solutions or 804.289.5320.
Provider Resources
5 Elements of a Successful Patient Engagement Strategy
Download this whitepaper,"5 Elements of a Successful Patient Engagement Strategy," and learn how to implement a successful patient engagement strategy and achieve the "triple aim" of health care, which is vital to the business of delivering care.
AHA Guidelines On-The-Go Mobile App
The American Heart Association's (AHA) Guidelines On-The-Go point of care mobile app is designed to improve patient outcomes by applying innovative processes and technology tools for improved guideline implementation. 

The app features AHA's clinical guideline material, displayed in an easy-to-use interface for  use at the point of care and access to interactive tools such as calculators, patient resources and notes.

Download is available for both iPhone users and Android users.
Doctors Are More Likely to Prescribe an Antibiotic When Patients Expect One
Experimental evidence confirms what surveys have long suggested - physicians are more likely to prescribe antibiotics when they believe there is a high expectation of it from their patients, even if they think the probability of bacterial infection is low and antibiotics would not be
effective, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association.

To read more about the new experimental evidence, click here.
Pain, Opioids and Addiction Lecture Series 
The Minnesota Medical Association (MMA), the Steve Rummler Hope Foundation (SRHF) and the University of Minnesota Medical School have collaborated to bring medical education to medical students, practicing doctors and residents on the topic of opioids. 

The lectures were recorded live and have now been made into a free medical curriculum resource on the topics of pain, opioids and addiction. The lectures are available for continuing medical education (CME) on the MMA website.

Click here to listen to the five-part series.
$5.5 Million HIPAA Settlement 
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been paid $5.5 million by Memorial Healthcare Systems (MHS) to settle possible violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules. 

A nonprofit corporation, MHS operates six hospitals, a nursing home, an urgent care center and many additional health care facilities, located through South Florida.

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) was informed by MHS that the protected health information (PHI) of hundreds of thousands of individuals could have been accessed by employees without permission. Affected information included names, social security numbers and dates of birth.

To read the Resolution Agreement and Corrective Action Plan on the OCR website, click here.

To read the entire press release from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, click here.
Free Live HQI Webinar
Achieving Health Equity: Its Root Cause and Strategies to Promote it in Virginia and Maryland

Friday, March 31, 2017 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Achieving health equity requires an understanding of social determinants of health and of the root causes of inequity, as well as community engagement and collaboration among a variety of stakeholders and sectors.

Join us at 1:00 pm on March 31, as guest speaker, Sonya Kibler, MS, MPH, describes health inequities in Virginia and Maryland, and discusses strategies you can take to have healthier and more equitable communities.

Care Management in a Value Based World

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 noon - 1 pm

Join us at noon on March 22, as guest speaker, Charisse Hunter of Aledade, Inc., describes how care management and care coordination can complement primary care physicians' work in value-based care as they strive to meet the goals of value-based contracts.

Stay Connected

Like us on Facebook          Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn