Louisiana success stories

LA Success Stories
Quality improvement endeavors can often feel overwhelming, but chances are, you can learn from the experiences that another physician, hospital or nursing home has had in a similar situation. Coupled with support from Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network, learning what has worked for others — and what didn't — is a valuable strategic planning component. 

We encourage you to read the success stories, contact us for more information, and also let us know if you have a Quality Insights' success story to share.

Bunkie HomeCare Boosts Immunization Rates

Earlier this year, Quality Insights Quality Improvement Specialist Melinda Jones discovered that only 2 of the 90 home health agencies in Louisiana were documenting their vaccine administration in the state immunization registry. Additionally, many of the agencies were not aware of LINKS – the Louisiana Immunization Network for Kids – and the benefits it provides.
Jones reached out to the Louisiana State Immunization Program Manager and together they developed a plan to introduce agency staff to the LINKS system. Their first step was to recruit a pilot group of home health agencies and work with them to create internal processes that support staff in consistently entering the data. 

Bunkie HomeCare was one of the five pilot agencies. Team Leader Becky Thompson, RN, notes, “We were invited to join in a pilot program that would assist us in obtaining accurate information to meet the influenza and pneumonia process measures.”

On March 30, 2017, Jones and the State Immunization Project Manager presented the pilot agencies with a LINKS data entry demonstration and introduced a Quick Reference Guide so that the agencies had information at their fingertips when they were ready to enter their agency’s data. Additionally, the pilot agencies were given region-specific Immunization Information System contacts for further assistance with enrollment.

After this initial training was complete, the agencies were asked to review their internal processes to ensure that data would be entered accurately and in a timely manner.

Thompson explains how Bunkie HomeCare altered its internal processes as part of this initiative. “Upon every patient admission or recertification to home health, information is obtained regarding vaccinations the patient has received.” If the patient or caregiver is unsure of when or if the influenza or pneumonia vaccines were received, staff will consult LINKS. “Whenever we administer any vaccines, we are able to enter this information into LINKS,” says Thompson.

Overall, this undertaking was pretty smooth for the Bunkie HomeCare team. Thompson shares, "We have had no problems entering the data into the State Registry. It has also helped identify patients who have had vaccines that can’t remember if or when they had them. This has been an excellent resource."

When asked about potential barriers to success, Thompson could not name one. “There are no barriers to overcome in this process. It is very easy to access the LINKS website and enter or view patient information,” states Thompson. The major benefit the agency has realized is their ability to obtain accurate information, which has led to their improvement in the influenza and pneumonia process measures.

“Collaboration with Quality Insights has proved to be beneficial to Bunkie HomeCare,” states Thompson. “We will continue to work together for quality and outcome measures improvement.”