Wisconsin Collaborative for Quality Healthcare

WCHQ’s Vision for Quality Improvement, Practice Transformation Taking Root

With the first half of 2015 in the rear view mirror and the second half rushing by, we want to take a moment to pause and look at where WCHQ has been and where it is going. New and exciting things have taken place in the first part of this year that we will continue to build on in the next six months and on into next year.

Last year WCHQ began the journey toward pairing its performance measurement expertise with quality improvement in order to help member organizations reach their performance improvement goals and transform their practices. In the spring 2015 newsletter we introduced the concept of practice transformation and in the months since then we have taken steps toward becoming the indispensable partner in our members’ transformation journeys.

We began by asking the WCHQ Board two questions to assist in shaping our approach to leading practice transformation. The questions asked of the Board were 1) what relevant themes come to mind when you hear “clinical practice transformation?” and 2) What is the role you see WCHQ playing or actions/activities we should consider to participate in clinical practice transformation?” As you can well imagine, numerous themes emerged during the discussion of the first question. A few themes that emerged most frequently were around reshaping care to include team-based care that ensures patient/family engagement; evidence-based care that results in reliable, sustainable systems of care; and performance excellence with quality improvement that leads to dramatic, rather than incremental, change.

The second question revealed a focus on WCHQ acting as a convener and facilitator of groups as well as initiatives that would provide the opportunity for shared learning and collaboration. Additionally, WCHQ’s role was viewed as being an innovator of new methods for creating change and that we would seek out funding and research opportunities to support and further clinical practice transformation. A recent example is WCHQ’s involvement in a new grant project funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and led by RAND Corporation to create a Center for Excellence (Center) on Comparative Health System Performance. The work of the Center is motivated by the changing landscape of health systems and the desire to understand how changes in organizational structures and care delivery processes may translate to better outcomes for patients. The Center’s proposed approach differs from approaches typically used to examine the relationship between health attributes of health care providers and performance. Additional partners for this five-year project include Pennsylvania State University, Harvard University, HealthBridge in Cincinnati, Integrated Health Care Association of California, Minnesota Community Measurement and Washington Health Alliance.

Since the discussion with the WCHQ Board we have been establishing ourselves as collaborative conveners of groups focused on quality improvement and practice transformation. We have been approached on four separate occasions in recent months to be the conveners of collaboratives on specific health care topics. While these are still preliminary, they are illustrative of the type of sessions we will be leading in the future. The Collaborative has been instrumental in leading and facilitating shared learning sessions that we see as critical to our members’ performance improvement journeys.

In the spring we facilitated site visits with members of the three improvement teams focusing on diabetes, colorectal cancer screening, and hypertension. Clinics and systems showing high levels of improvement on the measures for these topics of care invited other organizations to visit and learn firsthand about the tools and processes implemented to achieve these gains. The site visits provided the opportunity for everyone in attendance to gain an understanding of a solid performance improvement structure on which they could build at their respective organizations. To learn more about these site visits [see article] in this issue of the newsletter.

In addition to the site visits, WCHQ partnered with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to host a collaborative learning event on June 16 at the Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison. The event was designed to provide strategies and tools to improve the quality of care and patient outcomes and showcased the work of the WCHQ Quality Improvement Steering Teams. The presentations built on the content provided at the site visits allowing a broader audience to take home actionable best practices to support their improvement strategies. More details about the statewide quality improvement event are provided in [see article].

WCHQ’s role as a convener and leader in quality improvement and practice transformation has taken root through the facilitation of these events. We will continue to hone this role throughout the remainder of the year and as we look ahead to next year when we will further develop and refine our role as an indispensable partner to our members in their quality improvement and practice transformation journeys.