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e-News | August 2014

e-News | Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum - February 2014

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Fourth LaPOST Ready Campaign Kicks Off In Covington

The fourth Louisiana Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (LaPOST) Ready campaign kicked off Aug. 7 at Tchefuncta Country Club in Covington.
The campaign seeks to provide LaPOST education to health care professionals in Washington, St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes. Previous campaigns have been held in Greater Baton Rouge, the Acadiana region and the Greater Monroe area. Each of these areas has been declared ‘LaPOST Ready.’
The latest LaPOST Ready campaign launched with a special event featuring Susan Nelson, MD, LaPOST Coalition Chair. The event, with nearly 100 health care professionals in attendance, was held in collaboration with the Palliative Care Institute of Southeast Louisiana. In the coming weeks, health care professionals in the target parishes will receive electronic LaPOST newsletters and have the opportunity to engage in LaPOST education through webinars and special events. Details about these opportunities will be made available via the LaPOST website,, as they become available.
Pictured: (left to right) Cynthia Michael, Director of Community Relations, Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum; Susan Nelson, MD, LaPOST Coalition Chair; and Chryl Corizzo, RN, BSN, OCN, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center at St. Tammany Parish Hospital.

Quality Forum Partners In 9th Annual National Health IT Week
The Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum, for the third consecutive year, will partner with hundreds of health care-related organizations across the country in promoting health information technology (IT) during National Health IT Week, Sept. 15-19.
Now in its ninth year, National Health IT Week is a collaborative awareness week in which key health care stakeholders come together to promote the importance and value of advancing health IT. More than 400 partners are participating in National Health IT Week by hosting onsite and virtual events.
The Quality Forum is currently finalizing details for its National Health IT Week participation. Information about these activities will be made available via the Quality Forum’s website, eNews and social media in the coming weeks.
Additional information about National Health IT Week can be found at

LaPOST Ready Event Set For Monroe Region

The Louisiana Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (LaPOST) Coalition will host a special event, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Sept. 11, 2014, at Bayou DeSiard Country Club in Monroe to declare the Monroe region, “LaPOST Ready.”
The event, titled “Conversations Change Lives,” is the culmination of a 90-day campaign in which LaPOST education and training was provided to health care providers, social workers, caregivers and others in the Monroe area. The campaign, the third LaPOST Ready campaign to date, included webinars, onsite events and electronic newsletters.
The event will feature Mary Raven, MD, Palliative Medicine Service at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, as keynote speaker. Raven attended LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans and completed her residency at Earl K. Long Hospital. She is board certified in internal medicine, hospice and palliative medicine.
Other speakers will include Eve Van Sickle, D.MIN, Vice President of Mission Integration for St. Francis Medical Center, and Susan Nelson, MD, FACP, FAAHPM, LaPOST Coalition Chair and Medical Director of Senior Services and PACE Baton Rouge for Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System.
There is no fee to attend the event, but registration is required. The deadline to register is Sept. 5, 2014.
To register, click here.

Deadline Looms For ICD-10

Health care providers, payers and all other individuals and entities covered by the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA) are required to transition to ICD-10 on or before Oct. 1, 2015.
ICD-10 is the Tenth Revision of the International Classification of Diseases. It’s been endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a worldwide standard for describing medical diagnoses and inpatient hospital procedures through the use of codes.
The ICD-9 code set currently in use is more than three decades old and is limited in its ability to describe modern diagnoses and procedures. The latest code set was originally set to replace ICD-9 in 2013, but that implementation was delayed until 2014. It has since been delayed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) until 2015, and proponents predict that there will be no further delays in ICD-10 implementation.
While the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum does not offer assistance specific to ICD-10 implementation, Health IT Program Manager Nadine Robin said there are certain steps health care providers and organizations can take to prepare for the transition.
“Documentation is going to be key in the transition to ICD-10,” said Robin. “You will need to improve your documentation because of the detailed information required by the new code set, and with the deadline more than a year away, this is a good time to begin reviewing your current documentation procedures, especially clinical documentation.”
Robin urged those planning the transition to ICD-10 to also review CMS’ resources, which include online tools, fact sheets, FAQs and training modules.
“CMS has developed an extensive library of resources to help providers and organizations make the transition,” she said. “The deadline is more than a year away, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to begin planning and preparing now.”
To access the CMS ICD-10 resource library, click here.

E-RHIT Network To Benefit State’s Rural Residents, Health Care Providers

The Louisiana Rural Ambulance Alliance, in partnership with the Louisiana Emergency Response Network (LERN) and with support from the Quality Forum, has been awarded a $900,000 federal grant to fund the Electronic-Rural Health Information Technology (E-RHIT) Network.
The funds will enable the network to continue development and expansion over the next three years, according to a press release from the Alliance. This will include the implementation of a pre-hospital Electronic Patient Care Record that will be integrated into existing electronic health record (EHR) systems currently in use.
In addition, the grant will support access to a statewide patient registry focused on trauma, stroke, ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction and burns, the press release states.
Since its inception, E-RHIT has grown to include the Traffic Records Coordinating Committee and 11 ambulance services, and is expected to expand to 17 ambulance services this year. Its long-term goal is to integrate the LERN system with the Louisiana Health Information Exchange (LaHIE) to improve health care quality and reduce disparities in care for residents of Louisiana’s rural areas.
To read a case study about E-RHIT, click here.

Report Reviews Health IT Risk Management Interventions

A research report commissioned by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and released in July reviewed the challenges faced by hospitals and ambulatory practices that implement health IT risk management interventions.
The report found that health IT safety “often competes with other pressing priorities for limited resources within health care organizations” and that “users of electronic health records (EHRs) see EHRs as a solution to patient safety problems and may not understand new risks that may be introduced by EHRs.”
Among the report’s other findings were:
  • Health care organizations, especially small ambulatory practices, need tools to help them identify and address safety risks related to health IT.
  • The most frequently cited challenge was the timely and adequate allocation of staff effort and other resources to the project.
  • When executive leadership is closely involved, project teams are more likely to make progress in identifying and mitigating safety risks.
  • Projects made greater progress when they were aligned with other organizational initiatives such as Meaningful Use attestation.
Nadine Robin, Health IT Program Manager for the Quality Forum, said the report “highlights what we learned long ago in assisting health care providers to achieve Meaningful Use.”
“The Louisiana Health Information Technology Resource Center, as the state’s Regional Extension Center, has worked to educate providers and organizations about the need to be proactive in identifying and addressing safety issues,” Robin said. “We provide guidance in recommended practices for avoiding safety risks, improving workflows to optimize resources and other critical areas of importance.”
To learn more about the LHIT Resource Center and its services, visit

ONC Seeks Input On Interoperability

ONC is collecting insight on the development of a shared, nationwide interoperability roadmap.
In its recently released report, “Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Ten Year Vision to Achieve Interoperable Health IT Infrastructure,” ONC stated that by 2024, “Individuals, care providers, communities and researchers should have an array of interoperable health IT products and services that allow the health care system to continuously learn and advance the goal of improved health care.”
This interoperable system “should support critical public health functions…and data aggregation for research and value-based payment that rewards higher quality care, not necessarily a higher quantity of care,” the report noted.
To achieve this system, ONC shared a set of guiding principles, including expansion of the existing health IT infrastructure; technical and policy conformance among networks, technical systems and their components; accessibility; payment and care delivery reform; simplicity and modularity; and privacy and security.
ONC is now requesting insight and input on these principles via an interactive community. Thoughts and comments must be submitted by Fri., Sept. 12, 2014, for inclusion in a first draft of a roadmap that will be presented to its Federal Advisory Committees (FACAs) in October. ONC anticipates that the first version of the interoperability roadmap will be available for public comment in early 2015.
For information about how to submit comments and access the interactive community, click here.

    • BIZ magazine in Bossier City-Shreveport published on July 17, 2014, an article announcing that University Health System, which includes hospitals in Shreveport and University Health Conway in Monroe, has joinedLaHIE. The article includes quotes from Quality Forum CEO Cindy Munn; University Health CIO Marcus Hobgood; and Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at LSU Shreveport School of Medicine Pat Bass III, MD, MD, MPH. Read the complete article here. The news also appeared here in the July 22, 2014, edition of the Metro Leader; in the Weekly Business Bulletin of the Times-Picayune on July 18, 2014; on Advance Healthcare Network’s website on July 23, 2014; on on July 18, 2014; and in the August 2014 edition of Louisiana Medical News. The news was also featured on University Health’s Facebook page and the Quality Forum website.
    • The Monroe News-Star published on July 20, 2014, an in-depth article about University Health System and University Health Conway, in Monroe, joining LaHIE. The article notes that Conway is expected to go live with LaHIE in September. It includes quotes from Quality Forum CEO Cindy Munn and Conway Chief of Services and Dean of Rural Health Initiatives Lester Wayne Johnson, MD. Read the article here.
    • An article by Quality Forum CEO Cindy Munn was published in the July/August editions of theHealthcare Journal of Baton Rouge and the Healthcare Journal of New Orleans. The article featured a Q&A with DHH Secretary Kathy Kliebert about the state’s efforts to improve care and reduce costs through strategic efforts to reduce non-emergent utilization of emergency departments. Read the article here.
    • Brian Richmond, Quality Forum CTO, has been named to the Health Tech Research Advisory & Council (HTRAC). The council includes representatives of health care provider groups, industry, academia and government and is focused on generating executive-level collaboration and support for health IT. Learn more about HTRAC here.
    • Hood Memorial Hospital, in Amite, La., was featured in an article on OffSite Image Management, Inc.’s website on July 4, 2014. The article describes how Hood Memorial has moved away from paper records by transitioning to EHRs, joining LaHIE and upgrading to fiber optics. Read the article here.
    • The Quality Forum was featured in the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report’s ‘What’s New in Healthcare’ edition in June 2014. The article provided an overview of the Quality Forum’s organizational initiatives. Find the article here.
    • Susan Nelson, MD, FACP, FAAHPM, Quality Forum Board member and LaPOST Coalition Chair, joinedAlice Battista, MSN, CHPN, Director of Mission Services and Palliative Care for Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, in leading an educational session at the 2014 conference of theLouisiana-Mississippi Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, July 30-Aug. 1, 2014, in New Orleans. The session, “Palliative Care During Times of Crisis,” focused on strategies to enlist the hospice and palliative care community in providing the best care possible for those affected by the crisis standards of care. The full agenda for the conference can be found here.
    • The Advertiser published on July 10, 2014, an article about Lafayette General Medical Center, Lafayette General Surgical Hospital (LGSH), St. Martin Hospital and Opelousas General Health System. The article discussed the inclusion of the four facilities in Hospitals & Heath Networks magazine’s 2014 list of “Most Wired” hospitals. The four facilities are participants in LaHIE. The article includes comments from Edwina Mallery, RHIA, Vice President of Information Systems/CIO for Lafayette General Health; Carrie Templeton, LGSH Administrator; and Katie Hebert, St. Martin Hospital CEO. Click here to read the article.
    • Sabrina Heltz, Senior Vice President, Medical Economics and Chief Analytics Officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, has been selected as a featured speaker at the 2014 Information Management (IM) Symposium, Sept. 21-24, 2014, in Rochester, N.Y. Heltz is a former member of the Quality Forum Board of Directors, lending her expertise in health system performance management to the organization in its early years. Find her bio and information about the IM Symposium here.
    • Susan Nelson, MD, LaPOST Coalition Chair and Quality Forum Board Member, presented LaPOST information at the Louisiana-Mississippi Hospice and Palliative Care Conference and at LSU Health Baton Rouge in July.

    On The Calendar

    e-News aims to bring you a monthly summary of news about the Forum, its initiatives and related topics as we work together to shape health care in Louisiana. Your comments regarding current stories as well as ideas for future content are appreciated. Please address your feedback to Linda Morgan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..