HQI Announces 2018 Health Quality Innovators for Virginia

October 24, 2018

Health Quality Innovators (HQI) today announced the winners of the second annual Health Quality Innovator of the Year Awards for Virginia. HQI serves as the Medicare Quality Innovation Network—Quality Improvement Organizations for Maryland and Virginia and a Practice Transformation Network assisting practices in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia.

The Awards represent HQI’s commitment to improving health care in communities across the region by recognizing health care organizations who are using evidence-based approaches to quality improvement that deliver better care, better population health and lower health care costs. The Health Quality Innovator Awards are HQI’s marquis program for gathering and sharing evidence-based, practical methods for enhancing quality of care across physician practices, hospitals and long-term care facilities.

“This year’s Health Quality Innovators truly represent the best of the health care profession,” said Donald A. Glozer, MHA, FACHE, President & CEO of HQI. “They are collaborative teams of nurses, physicians, pharmacists, social workers and administrators finding evidence-based ways to improve care and outcomes in a diverse range of settings.”

The 2018 Virginia Health Quality Innovators of the Year are:

Collaboration: Transitional Care Clinic at Chesapeake Regional Healthcare
The Transitional Care Clinic (TCC) at Chesapeake Regional Healthcare is a high-touch integrated practice model that provides access to care for high-risk, high-needs patients throughout the city of Chesapeake, Va. This unique integrated health care clinic worked in collaboration with the Chesapeake Care Clinic, the Liberty Street Clinic, Comfort Care Home and Hospice, the Virginia Department of Health, Healthy Chesapeake and the Graduate Counseling Program at Old Dominion University to break down silos and eliminate barriers to care. At TCC, patients and their families are provided with the health care they would have otherwise received through an emergency department visit, as well as in-depth education, a social worker to assist with resources and behavioral health counselors to help work through external stressors. The TCC model has reduced hospital readmissions (8% reduction in 30-day hospital readmission rate) and emergency department visits (43% reduction in IP hospitalizations) in the Chesapeake community.

Data-Driven Care: Augusta Health
Augusta Health is a 255-bed community hospital in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Their goal was to decrease sepsis mortality by developing new ways to detect sepsis earlier. Based on a retrospective study using inpatient data, data scientist Penny Cooper developed an automated process that collects information and clinical data, compiles a sepsis risk score and sends an alert to nursing staff. Nurses who receive this notification perform an assessment and sepsis screening. Based on early success of this new protocol, a Sepsis Taskforce was created, bringing together an interdisciplinary team including Quality Director, Chief Medical Officer, emergency department (ED) physicians, pharmacists, intensive care unit (ICU) directors and information technologists. This Taskforce develops a monthly Sepsis Dashboard to measure progress. This new process has reduced Augusta Health’s sepsis mortality rate in 2017 from 10.29% in Q1 to 4.76% in Q4, compared to 12.7% statewide. These measures have saved 64 lives from Q2 2016 through Q4 2017.

Patient-Centered Care: The Richmond Health and Wellness Program at the VCU School of Nursing
The Richmond Health and Wellness Program at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Nursing provides comprehensive assessments and care coordination in order to address the needs of underserved older adults in the Richmond area. An interprofessional team of licensed clinical faculty and students—nurses, pharmacists, social workers provide half- and full-day clinics at an apartment building in the community. Staff are trained in racial equity and Honoring Choices, and a regional resident council meets with the team on a quarterly basis to make sure the community voice is integrated into the program. Held weekly, clinics include education sessions on various health topics, care coordination with family members, chronic disease monitoring, motivational interviewing to encourage goal-setting and hot meals served in a community setting to address social isolation.

Population Health: Charles City Regional Health Services Inc
Charles City Regional Health Services (CCRHS) serves the small, rural community of Charles City in central Virginia, which has high rates of obesity, smoking, inactivity, diabetes and hypertension with nearly 20% of the population uninsured. CCRHS works to improve the health of the Charles City community through a variety of evidence-based approaches to prevent and treat chronic disease. CCRHS hosts an annual Community Health Care day with a farmer’s market, mobile exercise unit and health screenings to help the community learn about available health services. Staff at CCRHS are trained in mental health first aid, diabetes fundamentals and LGBTQ employee education. And CCRHS provides integrated care with medical, behavioral and dental via a “patient soft hand-off,” allowing a provider from another discipline to be able to consult. The physical space of the clinic has even been updated to allow for private meeting space for patient education classes, including smoking cessation.

Rural Health Care: Fairview Health Associates
Fairview Health Associates is a Summersville, West Virginia-based family practice with five physicians serving more than 12,000 active patients more than 100 miles from a major hospital. Fairview Health Associates is participating in the National Practice Transformation Network to improve health outcomes for their patients. Fairview has also begun annual wellness visits and transition of care visits with a care coordination nurse to track care gaps. The team is running PDSA (plan, do, study, act) cycles for testing new care improvements. Through these initiatives and more, the group has helped make screenings and care more accessible to this rural population, increasing body mass index (BMI) screening and follow-up from 21% to 93%, increasing tobacco use screening and counseling from 9.1% to 97% and increasing screening for breast and colorectal cancers from less than 10% to more than 85% for both.

The Virginia and West Virginia winners were announced at a luncheon in Richmond today that was broadcast on Facebook Live. You can watch a replay. Maryland winners will be announced at a luncheon in Ellicott City, Md., Tuesday, November 6.

About HQI
Since 1984, HQI has been leading the way to better health care for providers and other clients by offering expertise in quality improvement, practice transformation, provider payment programs and electronic health record optimization. Better clinical performance, patient outcomes and cost savings are among the results. In addition to its role as the Maryland and Virginia Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization, HQI is a partner in two national Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks and is the Practice Transformation Network for Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia. Visit to learn more.

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