Hospital Quality Improvement Contractors (HQIC)
Since 2012, the Louisiana Hospital Association Research and Education Foundation’s (LHAREF) quality team has engaged with more than 100 Louisiana hospitals in quality improvement work to reduce hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions as part of the Hospital Engagement Network (2012-2016) and the Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (2016-2020). In September 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded the next iteration of its national hospital quality improvement work, the Hospital Quality Improvement Contracts (HQIC). Unlike previous programs that were all-inclusive, HQICs focus on small and rural hospitals, as well as facilities that serve vulnerable populations, and participation is limited to only those hospitals on CMS’ priority list. This four-year program focuses on improving quality of care, addressing the opioid epidemic, and improving care transitions for patients and communities while supporting hospitals in responding to public health emergencies, like COVID-19, to ensure safe care and to facilitate preparedness for future public health crises. The HQIC program is being offered at no cost to participating hospitals. The LHAREF has partnered with an organization specializing in providing clinical quality improvement tools and resources, Convergence/Cynosure Health, to offer eligible hospitals virtual access to high-quality, on-demand resources to educate staff and achieve hospital-defined goals. Participating hospitals will submit monthly data on commonly-reported, nationally-standardized quality measures that align with CMS’ proposed goals and this data will be used for state and national benchmarking.
LHAREF Quality Improvement Initiative (QII)
LHAREF is launching a new, voluntary Quality Improvement Initiative (QII) to offer ongoing, meaningful quality-improvement resources and support statewide to hospitals that are not on CMS’ priority list. The LHAREF has partnered with Convergence/Cynosure Health to provide high-quality patient safety improvement tools and resources through the QII. Participation in the initiative will provide hospitals with access to tools and resources to support quality improvement work, as well as continue the journey of addressing the opioid epidemic, improving behavioral health outcomes, and improving care transitions for patients and communities. Additional resources will be available to support hospitals in responding to public health emergencies, like COVID-19, to ensure safe care and to facilitate preparedness for future public health crises. Participating hospitals will submit monthly data on commonly-reported, nationally-standardized quality measures that align with CMS’ proposed goals and this data will be used for state and national benchmarking.
OTHER LHA INITIATIVES
Louisiana Alliance for Patient Safety (LAPS) Patient Safety Organization (PSO)
The Louisiana Alliance for Patient Safety (LAPS) Patient Safety Organization (PSO) is an affiliate of the Louisiana Hospital Association and is a federally-listed Patient Safety Organization with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. PSOs encourage clinicians and healthcare organizations to voluntarily report and share quality and patient-safety information without fear of legal discovery. PSOs help healthcare professionals learn from data on patient-safety events to prevent them from happening in the future.
Louisiana Surgical Quality Collaborative (LaSQC)
The Louisiana Surgical Quality Collaborative (LaSQC) is an initiative of Louisiana hospitals seeking to measure and improve the care of surgical patients throughout the state. The goal of the collaborative is to work through barriers to achieve universal participation of the surgery staff, and the initial focus of the Collaborative is on building change management skills relative to the adoption of the surgical checklist. The LaSQC is a collaboration between the LAPS PSO and participating hospitals.