March 17, 2011

Quality Partners of Rhode Island Hosted Summit to Discuss Improving Patient Safety During Care Transitions

Eminent Care Transitions Researcher, Dr. Eric Coleman, Addressed the Rhode Island Healthcare Community: Improving Patient Safety During Care Transitions

On March 29, 2011, Quality Partners of Rhode Island (Quality Partners) will host the Rhode Island Transitions Summit at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick, RI. The Transitions Summit will focus on community strategies to improve the safety of care as patients move from setting to setting throughout the healthcare continuum.

“Quality Partners is proud to host this statewide event,” says H. John Keimig, President and CEO. “The Transitions Summit served as a call to action for the state to improve care transitions and model improvement strategies for national policymakers.”

According to Rosa Baier, Quality Partners Senior Scientist, “Poorly-executed care transitions can mean that healthcare providers don’t have the information they need to assume responsibility for patient care—and that patients are not able to advocate for the care they need before problems become emergent.” This can result in poor outcomes and high costs, for example by increasing rates of hospital readmission. Significantly, more than one in four hospitalized adults in Rhode Island is readmitted to the same hospital within just 30 days of discharge.

Through collaboration with community providers and transition leaders, Quality Partners is improving care transitions and reducing hospital readmission rates. As part of a Medicare pilot program to improve care transitions, Quality Partners has convened local leaders to define a vision for the Rhode Island healthcare system – a system in which providers have the right information, at the right time, and patients know who to contact with questions.

To help the state achieve this collective vision, Quality Partners’ Safe Transitions project is working with providers and stakeholders to implement systems change that improves the communication of health information to patients and among healthcare providers.

“Because we provide complex care during care transitions, the patient safety risks are greatest at this juncture,” says Dr. Stefan Gravenstein, Clinical Director at Quality Partners who is a practicing geriatrician, as well as a hospice and nursing home medical director. “For patients to achieve the best outcomes possible, we need to ensure accurate and timely clinical communication from one provider to another.”

Rhode Island has long-standing leadership around care transitions, including the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Continuity of Care Form, and multiple local- and federally-funded initiatives working in tandem to improve care transitions. The Transitions Summit convened local and national leaders to discuss how Rhode Island’s vision and experience align with national policy goals, and prepare a Rhode map that addresses known barriers and furthers statewide collaboration to improve the safety of care transitions.  Visit the event page to learn more.
Dr. Eric Coleman, Professor of Medicine and Interim Head of the Division of Health Care Policy and Research at the University of Colorado, will discuss the significance of care transitions and serve as co-facilitator throughout the Transitions Summit. Dr. Coleman’s pioneering research demonstrated that coaching can reduce hospital readmissions 30% or more – a result that Quality Partners has replicated locally with the Safe Transitions project. To date, Quality Partners has reduced the odds of hospital readmission 34% among coached patients.

“Improving care transitions requires not only improving current systems and culture, but also collaboration among everyone engaged in patient care,” says Dr. Rebekah Gardner, Senior Medical Scientist at Quality Partners and an internist at Rhode Island Hospital, “This means involving patients and their caregivers, as well as all of the clinicians responsible for their care.”

About Quality Partners of Rhode Island:

Quality Partners of Rhode Island is a non-profit healthcare quality improvement organization based in Providence, RI that provides consulting, research and education services. We collaborate with national and local government agencies, healthcare providers, stakeholders, insurers, educational institutions and foundations on many healthcare quality improvement initiatives. With a staff of over forty physicians, nurses, educators, analysts and other healthcare professionals, this agency is viewed within the healthcare industry as a local and national leader in quality improvement. Quality Partners is a vendor in the Regional Extension Center (REC) Marketplace, as well as the Quality Improvement Organization for the state of Rhode Isl