How 10 High-Achievers Do It in Minnesota

22 Aug 2014
The quality improvement (QI) work of MN Community Measurement (MNCM) was featured in the August 2014 edition of regional medical journal Minnesota Medicine, published by the Minnesota Medical Association.
Since 2011, all Minnesota clinics and hospitals have had to submit their quality improvement numbers annually for a variety of measures to MN Community Measurement. In addition, some submit them to payers, who use the numbers to determine reimbursements. Some even use the information to determine compensation. This emphasis on measurement has led organizations to take QI seriously. Many have changed the way they work—and that hasn’t always been easy. Along the way, clinics and hospitals have learned that QI takes time, doesn’t have to cost money and even little changes can make a big difference in the lives of patients. 
The main focus of the article are vignettes on 10 clinics and medical groups in Minnesota that have improved quality or patient experience, and how they did it, along with peer-to-peer learning from other providers. Reporting measurement results to MNCM is driving this quality improvement.
For example, South Lake Pediatrics in Minnetonka, MN, dramatically improved the quality of the mental health care their patients were getting between 2010 and 2013. The practice hired care coordinators, created a registry to track the care patients were getting, established relationships with mental health care providers, and helped their physicians become more comfortable treating mental health conditions,  including prescribing medications. Mental health became better integrated into the practice. Before making the changes, only about half of South Lake’s mental health patients actually scheduled and showed up for their first appointment, which is compa-rable to the national average. Now the practice’s “initiation” rate is nearly 90 percent.
Read the entire article here.