Impact on Consumers
Although our work can sometimes appear to be complicated, there is a fundamental connection throughout everything we do – we’re helping healthcare get better. These scenarios are hypothetical and do not depict actual patients, they are simply intended to illustrate the dramatic effect our quality improvement work can have on patients affected by our work.
Reducing hospital readmissions
Conduct motivational interviewing workshops that educate healthcare staff on how to provide goal-oriented, patient-centered counseling that engages a patients’ intrinsic motivation to change behavior.
Edward, is a 93-year-old man who had multiple hospitalizations following quadruple bypass surgery with subsequent heart failure and atrial fibrillation diagnosis. Using motivational interviewing strategies that the nurse practitioner learned in a motivational interviewing workshop, he was able to tailor Edward’s care to his values, beliefs and personal goals. Edward was able to follow the care plan and now functions well in his assisted living facility with no further hospitalizations since he began to receive patient-centered care.
Reducing the use of antipsychotic medications at nursing homes
Work with skilled nursing facility residents and family members to identify non-antipsychotic medication alternatives to engage patients and improve their quality of life.
Staff at a skilled nursing facility that works with quality improvement consultants talked with family members of Tom, one of their residents, who was on a prescription of antipsychotics to help control his behavioral expressions and periodic outbursts. During the discussion, the staff learned that Tom used to work in facility maintenance for the local school district and enjoyed fixing things. The staff identified ways that Tom could help with tasks like checking handrails and door locks around the facility that helped create a sense of purpose for him. Being able to tinker was Tom’s best medicine – he was able to stop taking antipsychotics that were being used to manage his behavioral expressions.
Increasing screening for depression
Create a series of educational opportunities that promote the integration of behavioral health into primary care along with the use of standardized screening tools for depression.
A family practice that has participated in educational offerings that promote the integration of behavioral health includes the use of PHQ-9 (a standardized tool for depression screening) into their operations. One of their patients – Sarah – who has a number of chronic conditions and hospitalizations was identified as suicidal through the use of the PHQ-9 screening tool. In working with Sarah, the family practice was able to improve Sarah’s medication adherence. Sarah has experienced reduced suicidal thoughts and has had no subsequent hospitalizations.
Improving cardiac health
Conduct in-person blood pressure competency workshops that promote best practices and related strategies on the proper processes and techniques to accurately measure patients’ blood pressure.
Jane, a 67-year-old woman with no known chronic conditions, sees her primary care physician for routine care. Her physician encourages his medical assistants to accurately capture patients’ blood pressure through proper technique that his staff learned at a blood pressure competency workshop. During a review of Jane’s medical record, her physician noticed that she had an elevated blood pressure at her two previous visits. The office called Jane to schedule a follow-up appointment to confirm her elevated readings. During Jane’s appointment, the medical assistant ensured she followed proper manual blood pressure measurement technique and documented an elevated blood pressure measurement. The medical assistant also placed a recheck blood pressure card on the computer keyboard as an alert to for the physician to retake Jane’s blood pressure. Jane’s physician confirmed the elevated reading and was able to diagnose Jane with hypertension to provide her with lifestyle modification tips and a hypertension medication to begin managing her condition.