Chapter Champions Meet their Mark
In February 2018, WellStar Health System engaged WellStar Clinical Partners to work through our chapters to achieve improvements in quality and safety in the inpatient setting. The Hospital Quality and Efficiency Program (HQEP) addressed 14 key metrics spread across three domains: Quality and Safety, Clinical Efficiency and Effectiveness, and Patient Experience.

Physicians were encouraged to adopt specific actions to move the metrics. Examples are making timely post-discharge follow-up visits, conducting proactive advance care planning and referrals, and establishing real-time communication with emergency physicians.

When the HQEP program ended a year later, much had been achieved, with targets met in 9 of 13 metrics, and improvements cited in 9. Local Chapter HQEP Taskforce Metric Champions played a leading role in this success. About 72 WCP member physicians volunteered to serve as HQEP metric champions. Their role was to teach, encourage and model the behaviors known to positively impact specific metrics. To do that, they developed educational materials and tools, and hosted metric-specific workshops.

As well, the champions collaborated among themselves, taking a deep dive into areas identified for improvement and coming up with thoughtful solutions, rather than temporary fixes. That effort has led to changes in policies, protocols and practices within WellStar hospitals and facilities.

An example is the development of best practice alerts (BPAs) to standardize practice across the System. If a physician orders a medication that’s been flagged, the EPIC system will send a BPA, explaining treatment options available, asking if the physician is sure he or she wishes to order the drug, and recommending an alternative.

The champions are listed here by metric and chapter. Some championed a single metric; others worked on several. Sincere thanks to all. Our entire Network is already benefiting from your efforts!

In a successful HQEP, physicians and hospital staff collaborate and align resources to improve quality, safety, patient experience and improve efficiencies.