HQI Announces 2019 Health Quality Innovators for Maryland

November 14, 2019

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

The awards demonstrate HQI’s commitment to improving health care by recognizing organizations that 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.

“Our 2019 Health Quality Innovators are the best of the best in health care,” 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 across all care settings.”

The 2019 Maryland Health Quality Innovators of the Year are:

Collaboration: Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland
The Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland is a cooperative planning and development agency that fosters social and economic development in southern Maryland. The Council is piloting “Wheels to Wellness,” a program that provides on-demand transportation service for patients living in two areas serving St. Mary’s and Calvert County hospitals. The program connects transportation providers who are under-employed during mid-day hours with patients who are seeking mid-day appointments. The partnership stabilizes employment hours for the transportation providers while supporting better health access for passengers and reducing the costs associated with missed appointments or unneeded emergency department care. In the first year, the program traveled 20,244 miles and provided more than 1,000 rides.

Runners-Up: Lifebridge Health/Northwest Hospital, Lorien Health Services and Western Maryland Health System

Data-Driven Care: Nexus Montgomery Skilled Nursing Facility Alliance
Nexus Montgomery Skilled Nursing Facility Alliance is a collaboration of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and six Montgomery County hospitals. They used data provided by HQI and PointRight to identify opportunities to improve quality and reduce readmissions at the collaborative and individual facility level. They supported SNFs in completing a seven-step process to ensure all were connected with and trained on available data and developed quality improvement projects based on opportunities identified by the data. As a result, the hospitals and participating SNFs reported 226 fewer readmissions and Nexus Montgomery estimates this reduction led to a significant return on investment compared to program costs.

Runners-Up: Frederick Memorial Hospital and MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital

Patient-Centered Care: MedStar Shah Medical Group
MedStar Shah Medical Group (MSMG) is a large, multi-specialty practice with 30 locations serving five counties in Maryland. Among the many patient-centered strategies and initiatives MSMG employs, the most impactful include educating all members of the team about patient-centered care, encouraging patient, family and caregiver involvement, using shared decision-making when creating personalized care plans and incorporating patients’ feedback when discussing quality improvement activities. All 30 MSMG practice locations also are National Committee for Quality Assurance Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home certified.

Runners-Up: Monocacy Health Partners and Suburban Hospital

Population Health: Prince George’s Healthcare Alliance
The Prince George’s Healthcare Alliance is non-profit organization that provides care coordination services to decrease utilization of health system resources and maximize quality for complex patients who visit the hospital often. Their community health worker (CHW) population health model expands access to primary care and improves the health of all county residents. CHWs enroll uninsured residents in health insurance, connect patients to primary care providers, assist with hospital care transitions and provide health literacy education and care coordination services. The Alliance’s integrated care coordination strategies and solutions address clinical care measures in the county rankings and help patients change their behaviors to achieve their best health. As a result of CHW interventions, hospital visits decreased by 22 percent for patients with Medicare and/or Medicaid and hospital costs were reduce by 47 percent.

Runners-Up: Anne Arundel Medical Center and Primary Care Coalition Montgomery Co.

Rural Health Care: Apple Discount Drugs
Apple Discount Drugs provides medications, medical equipment and related merchandise and services to the Delmarva Peninsula. To address low health literacy, lack of transportation and economic barriers to care in the local community, they incorporated HQI’s Blue Bag Initiative into medication review visits to assess patient understanding of medication use while tracking and identifying potential adverse drug events. By getting the patient’s perspective on their medication use, Apple pharmacists discuss and create a patient-centered plan that can be shared with other members of the patient’s health care team.

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 a 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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