HHC receives Quest for Excellence Award

HHC receives Quest for Excellence Award

October 25, 2018

Staff recognized for using data to promote education, increase screening rates

From the Nebraska Hospital Association Awards Banquet program:
Value-based care models such as PQRS, MIPS quality reporting requirement and the formation of ACos prompted our facility to begin looking at how our practice compared to national benchmarks. Historically, data collection and trending was difficult in our clinic, as paper charts were being utilized until the implementation of an EMR in August of 2017. Finding information from paper charts was a manual and tedious process. For ease and consistency, the same EMR platform was selected for the clinic as for the hospital. Having navigated that system for several years already, we were well aware of the challenges of obtaining access to meaningful reports, including large customizing fees and long lag times. Knowing that value-based payment systems were here to stay, having access to quality information became a priority. After much research, a data analytics company was selected to partner with. In doing so, we were able to see how we compared to national benchmarks, which then prompted us to improve our processes of patient care. We discovered that we were consistently screening approximately 30% of our patients for osteoporosis, a mere 20% for colorectal cancer and only 40% of our COPD patients were receiving a spirometry evaluation. Partnering with data analytics company showed the areas we were lacking in and gave us a road map for instigating positive change.

The results were astounding! Osteoporosis screening rates jumped from 30% to over 80% in a matter of months. The radiology department completed 77 DEXA scans in two months, where an average of six per month was the norm. Five of the patients screened required treatment for osteoporosis, with the goal being to prevent fracture in those high risk patients. Osteopenia was recognized in the majority of others, thus guiding providers to recommend calcium and vitamin D intake, weight bearing exercise and continued follow-up. Educating our patients has been key in this measure. Once the patients understood the purpose of the screening, the nature of the test and the provider concern for preventative health, DEXA screenings increased drastically.

Our COPD spirometry baseline rate began near 40% and increased to 76% after the team’s work and evaluation of the data. Patients are now being accurately diagnosed and treated for COPD. The respiratory therapist monitors these patients through Pulmonology Clinic and continuously analyzes the GAP report. She essentially functions as a chronic disease manager, providing overall better care for these patients. Providing education on the importance of spirometry evaluations is necessary. It not only empowers our patients with knowledge, but it also prompts questions about their health and their disease.

Baseline colorectal cancer screening rates of 20% increased to 30% through improved preventative health maintenance screenings at the clinic. This project was not initiated until July and has been more difficult. However, the goal is to improve screening rates and keep our patients healthy by setting a goal of scheduling four patients per week with colorectal cancer screenings for the remainder of 2018.