The Spotlight on Improvement series highlights real stories of health care quality improvement. These case studies can be used to improve health care programs and spark new collaborations.
Shared medical appointments are a cost-effective way to manage chronic conditions. Read how a small, independent practice in central Washington piloted a shared medical appointment program resulting in improved health outcomes and increased patient satisfaction.
Group Health used the Choosing Wisely campaign as a way to encourage provider and patient conversations on the necessity and safety of tests, treatments and procedures and to avoid unnecessary or potentially harmful care. They paired this with an electronic medical record trigger tool to help reduce unnecessary testing and reduce wasteful spending.
In 2008, Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital began offering educational programs for community members who have chronic diseases, substantially reducing overall outpatient and emergency department in just one year.
In 2006, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center initiated an internal glycemic control task force to review protocol and found that blood glucose targets were not regularly met in cardiac patients. The group also found that the special needs of patients with diabetes were not commonly met before discharge and there was little continuity of care once patients transitioned from the hospital back into the community.
Providence Sacred Heart collaborated with network of more than 20 hospitals in eastern Washington and northern Idaho to increase survival rates for cardiac arrest. They implemented continuous improvement processes to improve response times and standardize treatment protocols.
By committing to data collection and continuous improvement, King County Emergency Medical Services increased cardiac survival rate to 60 percent—the highest not only in the United States, but in the world.
The Improving Care Transitions (IMPACT) program in Whatcom County is helping patients actively manage their health and reduce preventable hospital readmissions by working with them both during and after a hospital stay.
By implementing an improved, collaborative stroke program in 2011, Cascade Valley Hospital in Arlington, Wash., has reduced the amount of time from when a patient enters the hospital with a suspected stroke to when they receive a CT scan to confirm it by 64 percent.