Health Care Quality Initiatives in the South West LHIN

Quality health care matters.  Research shows that poor quality health care is costly and high costs can be associated with hospital-acquired infections, adverse drug events, patients with chronic diseases who not always receive the optimal care and avoidable admissions. We also know quality improvement initiatives can reduce costs, but to do this, it does require careful planning, leadership and expertise and a sustained relentless focus on high quality implementation.”

The South West LHIN has dedicated resources to assist with this cultural shift, with the South West Quality and Process Improvement program (QPI) which is housed at the South West CCAC.  The goal of QPI is to support and foster an environment of continuous quality improvement across the South West LHIN.

South West LHIN Quality Awards Program!

The Quality Awards program was announced at the South West LHIN 2011 Quality Symposium to recognize organizations that have implemented a sustainable quality improvement initiative by working together to achieve performance excellence. Click here (PDF) for more information. 

South West LHIN 2012 Quality Award Recipients:

Category 1 — Population Based Integrated Health Services Delivery

Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Project

At London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), 43% of severe infant injuries were intentional, often Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS). Based on these data, our region implemented the Period of PURPLE Crying® (PURPLE®) to ultimately decrease the incidence of SBS. PURPLE® is an evidence-based, SBS primary-prevention program developed by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (NCSBS) which educates parents and caregivers about normal infant crying and the dangers of shaking an infant (PURPLE® ). By 2011, all SWO health units and birthing hospitals implemented the program, under the strategic direction of the Maternal Newborn Child and Youth Network in collaboration with the Southwest Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Working Group (SWSBSPWG). This important initiative was implemented thanks to the efforts of 23 organizations from the South West and Erie St.Clair LHINs.  (Click here to see the video)

Category 2 — Centrally Coordinated Resource Capacity (it was a tie!)

eShift

When a complex health condition requires ‘around the clock’ monitoring, (end-of-life or medically fragile child) families can face burn-out and use of other more expensive resources such as emergency departments can increase.  In-home nursing shifts is a key support, however because of the 1:1 caregiver:client ratio, this is one of the most intensive uses of human resources in the system. The eShift project sought to increase capacity by leveraging specialty clinical resources virtually while providing excellent hands on care in the home. The eShift model places PSWs at
the bedside to observe/report signs & symptoms using a smart-phone application connected in real-time to a specialty nurse via a secure portal. The nurse monitors and delegates appropriate interventions, ensuring safety and enhancing the quality of the care. The portal is also accessible to other providers on the care team such as physicians. While technology plays a very significant role in the model, eShift is NOT a technology solution. Rather, the technology enables providers of all disciplines to interact with each other more effectively and efficiently to support and partner with the client/caregivers. Implementation of eShift was possible thanks to the partnership that included the South West CCAC, VON, CarePartners, and Sensory Technologies.  (Click here to see the video) 

Regional Hip Fracture Project

This initiative focused on two primary objectives:

1. By project conclusion, all hospitals in the South West LHIN surgically treating hip fractures will achieve the provincial target of operating on 90% of hip fracture patients within 48 hours of admission to their institution.

2. Establish an orthopaedic on-call process at the Thames Valley Hospital Planning Partnership (TVHPP) hospitals and Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA).

  • Establish a network of clinical site champions for all in-scope sites, responsible
    for site-specific changes, including BJHN model implementation;
  • Establish the methodology to identify discharge and transfer blocks; and,
  • Establish the measurement methodology and measure times from fracture
    identification to admission to treating hospital, when they are not at the same
    institution.

This regional project was implemented thanks to the collaboration of 6 hospitals in the South West LHIN as well as the South West CCAC.
These two projects are also featured in our Showcase Alley, so drop by and learn all about them and speak to the people responsible for implementing these quality improvement initiatives.  (Click here to see the video)

Sustaining lessons learned from Partnerships for Health (PFH)

A concerted three-year program designed to improve care for people with diabetes through partnerships with primary care in the South West LHIN was very successful, with 73 primary care teams taking part. In all, improvements were made in 10 of 11 clinical outcomes.

Lessons learned from the program which focused on building partnerships between primary and community care, engaging patients in self-care, and making better use of information technology are now being embedded in the QPI program.

Now known as “Partnering for Quality in Chronic Disease Care,” QPI Improvement Coaches will work with PFH teams to sustain and ultimately spread their great work.  

Quest for Quality website and video

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The QPI website, www.questforquality.ca provides information and inspiration to providers engaged in the quality improvement process. The site provides links to tools and templates, and will also enable data collection and reporting of priority quality projects.

Below is a video about the QPI initiaitive in the South West LHIN