west virginia success stories

WV Local 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 storyto share.

Succeeding Across the Care Continuum: How Collaboration Created a Foundation for Future Healthcare Quality Improvement

As Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little, but together we can do so much.”  That was the mindset when Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network assisted in convening a collaborative of healthcare organizations in West Virginia for the inaugural WV Continuum of Care Symposium on August 23 and 24, 2016.
The collaboration included the WV Hospital Association (also a Hospital Engagement Network), WV Healthcare Association, and the WV Council of Home Health Agencies.  The group met regularly with the intention of planning a joint conference focused on coordination of care.  The resulting symposium, which was held in Charleston, was a success with more than 160 participants representing 27 counties in the state.  Represented healthcare settings included hospitals, home health agencies, nursing homes, emergency management services and hospice/palliative care organizations.  Symposium topics included patient and family engagement, medication safety, palliative care and reduction of readmissions. Breakout sessions took a deeper dive into topics like Quality Assurance Performance Improvement (QAPI) for home health, INTERACT for nursing homes, and creating palliative care teams for hospitals.
“I thoroughly enjoyed this conference,” one attendee said. “I was able to obtain a wonderful sense of knowledge, and I am extremely excited to take all of these things back to our facility to implement. I would love to see this become an annual event.”
“This exceeded my expectations,” another attendee said of one of the panel discussions. “All of these panelists engaged participants and have passion for what they do. I need to step up my game in caring for others.”
Dr. Alvin Moss, director of the WV Center for End of Life Care, got involved when he saw an announcement about the planning phase in the West Virginia Hospital Association newsletter.
“The symposium was consistent with our goals for educating hospitals, nursing homes, etc., on how to provide care across the continuum,” Dr. Moss said. “I immediately contacted Carla VanWyck at Quality Insights to get involved.”      
Networking was among one of the biggest benefits identified from attending the symposium.
“I think the biggest benefit of the symposium was having people from all care settings together in one room,” Dr. Moss said. “It was valuable to network with nursing homes, hospitals, hospice organizations, home health agencies and more.  Having everyone in the same room, listening to the same conversations, asking questions - I think that was the whole goal of the symposium.”
In fact, as a result of the symposium, Dr. Moss is now helping another hospital in the state start a palliative care team.
“I really hope this collaboration will continue and that even more health care settings can attend,” he said. “Several large healthcare associations were represented.  It would be nice to see it become larger each year.”
Laura Friend, Executive Director for the West Virginia Council of Home Care Agencies, explained how her organization became involved as a result of the desire to collaborate with Quality Insights on a related project. 
“We got involved with the symposium when we approached Quality Insights about collaborating with us on a rehospitalization workshop,” she said. “They were already involved with the Continuum of Care Symposium and had planned to present related information.  They suggested we be involved on the planning committee and we felt it was an excellent opportunity.” 
Friend also was impressed by the collaboration between community organizations during the planning phase.
“There was no territorial divide that you often see in groups that are service providers sharing the same patient population,” she said. “There was truly a sense of unity in coming together to work for the best quality system of care for patients.”   
When asked about the future of the symposium, Friend was optimistic.
“I’m excited for the future of the symposium and can only believe that it will grow,” she said. “I think it can lay the ground work for providers to come together to establish  a high quality and efficient health care system that will allow for seamless transition for patients from one healthcare provider to another.  Care should be never be fragmented.  In this day and age with the technologies we have, patients should be able to move seamlessly from one provider type to another without loss of information or repetition.”
The collaborative will continue to meet regularly to coordinate activities and plan next year’s conference. For more information about plans for the 2017 symposium, please contact Carla VanWyck at cvanwyck@qualityinsights.org.