Quality Improvement

Quality improvement is a prominent influence on the healthcare landscape. At state and national levels, initiatives are helping healthcare providers to give their patients the best possible care.

Improving Performance in Practice (IPIP) is a nationally led initiative, sponsored in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and convened by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Within a structured protocol, IPIP operates at the state level to convene primary care providers to assess, compare, and systematically improve their practices across specific goals:

• National measures for diabetes and asthma
• Use of registries to manage patient populations
• Monthly data reporting and aggregate summary
• Quality Improvement Coaches working with practices
• Learning collaboratives
• Decision support tools, such as a visit planner
• A flow diagram and protocols to standardize care
• Frequent monitoring of protocol use to track reliability
• Self-management support to engage patients in care

Coaching, tools, and resources are extended to providers, professional organizations, government agencies, payers, and health systems in a culture of practice improvement.

North Carolina's IPIP program is offered through regional AHECs at no charge. This program is designed to help primary care providers adopt proven tools and systems that support delivery of consistently high quality care in a complex and rapidly-changing healthcare system. Partners include the NC Health Quality Alliance, Community Care of NC, NC Academy of Physicians, NC DHHS Division of Public Health, Carolina Centers for Medical Excellence, NC Pediatric Society, and NC Chapter of the American College of Physicians. Prospective participants can obtain details and apply online.

The CHIPRA Quality Demonstration Grant, funded by the Office of Rural Health, is an initiative to improve the quality of pediatric care in North Carolina. The NC Center of Excellence for Integrated Care is participating with the CHIPRA project team to convene learning collaboratives across the state. Among these collaboratives, the Center provides technical assistance and consultation to pediatric care providers, focusing on quality measures and the advancement of quality care through the medical home concept. These two arms of the project are related to a third focus, improving electronic health record to fit the needs of pediatric care. Find out more by contacting the project staff.

The National Committee for Quality Assurance offers a one-stop national perspective. There you can also view the 2011 State of Health Care Quality Report Card.