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e-News | August 2016

Editor’s Note:
With this issue of eNews, we’re also sending thoughts and prayers to our friends and family in Louisiana who have been affected by the Flood of 2016. In the end, we are Louisiana strong. And on that note, please read the special blog in this issue about some of the good things that have happened and are happening because of disasters like this.
  - Linda Morgan

07 2016 eNews
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LaPOST Receives Grant Funding

08 16 lapost logoThe Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum has received a second year of funding to educate long-term care nursing staff, residents, caregivers and families about the importance of advance care planning and the Louisiana Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (LaPOST) document. The funding was provided by a grant from the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) using civil money penalties (CMP) paid into the Nursing Home Residents’ Trust Fund. In Year 2, training components will include webinars and teleconferences; targeted video programming; additional educational materials; an electronic newsletter featuring "best practices"; and an updated website. "We are grateful for the continued support from LDH and look forward to introducing and reinforcing the advance care planning process and the LaPOST program with nursing facility administrators, staff, residents and families," said LaPOST Coalition Chair Susan Nelson, MD. For more information about advance care planning and LaPOST, click here.
Free Online Training for Health Care Professionals

09 16 free HICATT online trainingThe Quality Forum, in collaboration with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the University of Texas (UT) Health Science Center at Houston, will offer free, online education for health care professionals. Continuing Education (CE) credits are available for physicians, pharmacists and nurses. The Health Informatics Curriculum and Training for Transformation (HICATT) Program is funded by ONC to support the clinical workforce in transforming health care. The UT Health School of Biomedical Informatics will host and deliver the online training that will be divided into four to six-week courses from September 2016 through June 2017. This self-paced course is designed to be flexible, allowing participants to work through the curriculum at their convenience within the course timespan. The program is offered at no cost to employed health care professionals across the nation. For information about the different tracks, click here. Registration information can be found here. If you have questions about the course, please contact Michelle Jewell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

New Positions For Former Quality Forum Board Presidents

08 16 Karen DeSalvo vindell washingtonIn a recent announcement from Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell, Karen DeSalvo, MD, has stepped down from her position as National Coordinator of Health Information Technology to serve full-time as Acting Assistant Secretary of Health with HHS. Taking her place at the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) is B. Vindell Washington, MD, the current Principal Deputy National Coordinator, effective Aug. 12. Both leaders have ties to the Quality Forum as they have been past presidents of the organization’s board of directors. "On behalf of the Quality Forum, I’d like to extend sincere congratulations to Dr. DeSalvo and Dr. Washington on their appointments. We appreciate the leadership, experience and expertise they brought to our organization and wish them every success in their new duties," said CEO Cindy Munn. For more information about Dr. DeSalvo, click here and to learn more about Dr. Washington, click here.
Online Health Data Tool Debuts

08 16 online health data toolsThe LDH’s Center for Population Health Informatics and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Tracking Network have teamed up to create Health Data. Health Data is a portal that provides a longitudinal view of Louisiana health data and is accessible to the general public, researchers, scientists, educators, students, health officials and individuals who may want to learn more about health issues affecting their community. According to Dr. Rebekah Gee, secretary of the Department of Health, the portal is fully interactive and allows users to access health, population, environmental and exposure data and visualizations in one place. Quick access to associated information and links is also provided. The data will be downloadable and continually curated to ensure the best and most current information is available. In addition, new data sources will be added as they are identified. To access the Health Data portal, please click here.

National Health IT Week -- Sept. 26-30

08 16 NHIT Week logoFor the fourth consecutive year, the Quality Forum is partnering with hundreds of other groups across the nation to recognize National Health IT Week – Sept. 26-30. This dedicated week is a collaborative forum that brings together key health care stakeholders – provider organizations, payers, pharmaceutical/biotech companies, government agencies, industry/professional associations, research foundations, vendors and consumer advocacy groups – to focus on expanding the value of health IT. This year’s theme is One Voice, One Vision: Transforming Health and Care. For more information, please read Jamie Martin’s blog entitled, “We Heart Health IT…You Should, Too” in this issue and to learn about the different ways you can participate in this special week, refer to the National Health IT website.

Did You Know About TATF?

08 16 TATF telehealth doctorIn 2014, the Louisiana Legislature created the Telehealth Access Task Force (TATF) as an advisory body to the legislature and LDH on policies and practices that expand access and coverage for telehealth services. In addition to advising, the task force serves as a coordinating forum on telehealth matters between and among state agencies, local government and other non-governmental groups; studies technical aspects of delivery systems used in telehealth and develops standards; regularly researches and reviews state regulations, guidelines and policies related to telehealth and makes policy recommendations. TATF is also charged with preparing a biannual report on the status of telehealth access in Louisiana for the legislature and the governor. Task force members includes representatives from several state organizations as well as public and private stakeholders. Lonnie Dufour, the Quality Forum’s Director of Telehealth, chairs the group. For more information about telehealth services in Louisiana and TATF, please contact Dufour at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

06 2016 News Notes

Quality Forum board officers and board members were noted in the July/August 2016 issues of the Healthcare Journal of Baton Rouge (p. 46) and the Healthcare Journal of New Orleans (p. 44).

Cynthia Michael, Community Relations Director, will discuss advance care planning and the LaPOST initiative with members of the Council on Aging in Slidell on August 22.

Susan Nelson, MD, LaPOST Coalition Chair, will address Master of Social Work students specializing in Gerontology at Louisiana State University’s CHSE School of Social Work on Aug. 24. The presentation will focus on the importance of advance care planning/LaPOST and is part of an intensive workshop for the students.

Nadine Robin, Health IT Program Director, will speak at the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Congress in Chicago, Oct-7-9, 2016. Robin will present “HIE: Increasing Quality Reporting in the Medical Neighborhood” to conference attendees.