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.

Opelousas General Health System and Fred’s Pharmacies: A Medication Safety Education Partnership

Opelousas is Louisiana’s third oldest city. The region, settled by the French Creoles, Spanish and Acadians, is renowned for its rich food and is often referred to as the “Spice Capitol” of the world. Unfortunately, the region is also exhibiting a growing prevalence of pre-diabetes and diabetes.
Several local health care leaders recognized an opportunity for change through the Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) initiative. EDC is a national initiative of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and is coordinated by Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network, which is supported locally by EQ Health Solutions.

The EDC initiative teaches people with diabetes and/or their caregivers the skills they need to be in control of their health. Consisting of six weekly classes, participants learn about diabetes self-management, including how to properly manage medications and much more. Based on group interaction and working together, the classes empower and inspire the participants to feel confident about their health and themselves.

Kent Stoneking, Director of Healthcare Solutions at Fred’s Pharmacies, and Andrew Brickley, Opelousas General Health System’s Vice President, both recognized a need for diabetes self-management education to help patients manage their disease and prevent serious complications such as premature death.

Stoneking saw the potential of the EDC program as an effective way to assist the community and population. He helped coordinate an impromptu meeting with several regional pharmacists and clinical field educators from Fred’s Pharmacies as well as Brickley with Opelousas General Health System. That initial meeting sparked a flurry of discussion and action that grew into a strong partnership that collaborated to provide this medication safety education to Medicare beneficiaries and others in the region with diabetes.

Stoneking set a goal for Fred’s regional pharmacists and hospital pharmacists to work collaboratively with Quality Insights to provide the community with substantial medication safety training. He traveled to Opelousas to train a team of pharmacists on the American Diabetes Association (ADA) standards of care for diabetes and the Diabetes Empowerment Education Program (DEEP) medication management module for the EDC initiative. This prepared them to have meaningful discussions with patients regarding their diabetes and offer individual medication review. Through the Fred’s initiative, medication review was offered to attendees for individual counseling during the medication safety learning module class time.  These speakers are local pharmacists from the area who can provide continued education and support on an ongoing basis.

More than thirty people registered for the first class. Class attendees have included people with pre-diabetes and diabetes, as well as those who just want to know more because they have friends or family with the disease. A total of four classes were held in various locations in the region between September 2017 and June 2018 with a total attendance of 70, including 38 FFS Medicare beneficiaries and 9 enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans. They were enthusiastic about this opportunity and actively engaged in dialogue with the pharmacists. For specific medication issues they were referred to their physician for follow-up.

The success of this community partnership provides a model for other communities and pharmacies to follow.