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.

Monroe Community Works Together Toward Improving Healthcare

2/18/2015
Over the course of a year, from September 2012 to 2013, eQHealth Solutions collaborated with Monroe, Louisiana community members to improve health care conditions for area residents.
 
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded eQHealth Solutions, Louisiana’s quality improvement organization (QIO), a special innovation project (SIP) to work with Monroe residents to reduce hospital readmission rates. Monroe, before eQHealth Solutions’ intervention, had high rates of readmission of almost 24% while having the highest cost in Duals (beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

By the end of the year-long SIP, eQHealth Solutions and Monroe community stakeholders were able to reduce readmission rates to 19.17%.

The road leading up to the decrease in readmission rates started with simple community meetings held in Monroe by eQHealth Solutions staff. The meetings were to act as outlets for residents with a vested interest in health care in the area to speak their mind and figure out what specific areas were plaguing their system.

Through interviews with community stakeholders, it was clear to eQHealth Solutions staff, as well as participants, where problems existed. Communication was rated the number one factor inhibiting progress among care providers by participants in community meetings. So, eQHealth Solutions began honing in on the issue.

eQHealth Solutions staff continued community meetings, but started implementing evidenced-based tools and providing education materials, while stressing timely communication, to attempt to make progress. Area stakeholders then took the lead and started holding focus groups and developed a community-wide work plan to work toward reducing readmissions.

In total, Monroe stakeholders held 170 one-to-one meetings and 22 community-wide meetings, which exceeded the community plan goal.

It was starting to be clear that the people of Monroe could, and would, make progress; all they needed was a bit of guidance.

To tackle the issue of high cost in Duals and COPD, as well as the poor ranking among CHF patients, Monroe community members and eQHealth Solutions devised a plan to host an education day to enlighten the area residents.

On June 7, 2013, an event titled Resources on the River kicked off as the official education day offering health education on various topics.

From the questionnaires filled out by Resources on the River participants, it was clear eQHealth Solutions and Monroe stakeholders made a positive impact.

One attendee, a 70-year-old gentleman with a history of multiple heart attacks and strokes, soaked up information related to heart health and ways he could decrease the risk of more heart problems. The valuable information, he said, would be shared with others similar to his situation.

eQHealth Solutions left the Monroe community in a better place than before the SIP intervention. With all the education eQHealth Solutions staff provided on sustaining progress, the Monroe community will have an easily identifiable path toward maintaining improvement and continuing to reduce readmissions.