New Mexico Hospitals: Creating a Model of Collaboration and Commitment

20 May 2013

Aligning efforts and establishing partnerships across systems is becoming a necessary fact for health care providers and organizations as both look to achieve the Triple Aim of improved health outcomes, improved health care quality and reduced costs. This type of effort is what is underway in New Mexico.

In August 2011, the Albuquerque Coalition for Healthcare Quality, the local Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) Alliance, launched its Regional Transforming Care at the Bedside (TCAB) initiative across New Mexico. In April 2012, HealthInsight New Mexico, New Mexico’s Quality Improvement Organization, launched the New Mexico Hospital Engagement Network (NM HEN) in partnership with the New Mexico Hospital Association. The coalition’s Regional TCAB Clinical Leader and NM HEN program manager began discussing the similarities and cross overs between the two projects, including an identical core focus of patient safety.

NM HEN aims to reduce patient harm by 40 percent and readmissions by 20 percent of the individual hospital starting baseline by December 2013 while Regional TCAB aimed to improve the quality and safety of patient care, increase the vitality and retention of nurses and frontline staff, engage and improve the patients’ and family members’ experience of care, and improve the effectiveness of the entire care team. Additionally, many of the TCAB hospitals were also participating in HEN and many HEN hospitals were seeking models to achieve their program goals. The correlation between the two programs and potential mutual benefit was obvious.

On March 22, 2013, over 75 nurses and executive nurse leadership representing more than 30 New Mexico hospitals and healthcare systems came together to learn more about each of these programs and to celebrate the successful completion of the 18-month New Mexico Regional TCAB collaborative. During the event, the Regional TCAB teams shared their stories, insights, results, challenges, and successes with their colleagues that are a part of the NM HEN hospitals. Throughout the day, participants were challenged to go beyond acute care and internal processes and think about the possibilities for enhancing care transitions and coordination of care across the entire health care continuum – from bedside to home, from home to clinic, from home care to hospice care, to long term care and other areas across the entire health care continuum.

Dr. Roger Resar, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, was the event’s keynote speaker and he provided several stimulating discussions on designing, implementing and sustaining health care processes throughout the day. During the event, hospitals had an opportunity to share their experiences on health care process design as well as how they were able to improve patient safety as a team and/or hospital. A clear connection with the TCAB model was evident as groups participated in ‘hands-on’ problem solving. HEN hospitals found the TCAB model useful in their work and are embracing the foundation and pillars of TCAB, including processes to conduct quick cycles of change after identifying possible interventions from engaging staff in a ‘snorkle’ session.

Throughout the day, ideas about how these similar and oftentimes overlapping initiatives could be sustained beyond individual programs or coalitions were discussed and generated great promise for future collaboration.

This collaboration between HealthInsight New Mexico’s HEN and the Albuquerque Coalition for Healthcare Quality’s Regional TCAB initiatives is an example of how organizations and individuals can work together to align efforts and share information for the benefit of the community as a whole. The coalition looks forward to continuing this collaboration and aims to establish similar partnerships in the future.