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e-News | August 2017

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Editor's Note: 
On behalf of the Quality Forum, we send prayers and thoughts to our family members and friends in Texas and southwest Louisiana who are affected by Hurricane Harvey. Twelve years ago, Louisiana and the Gulf Coast braved Hurricane Katrina, and a few weeks later, Hurricane Rita … we know, we understand. In the face of this unimaginable natural disaster, stay strong – we salute your courage, your resiliency and stand ready to help.

Funding for Telehealth Project Continues

08 17 TexLa LogoThe TexLa Telehealth Resource Center (TRC) recently received grant funding for another three years from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The TexLa TRC provides technical assistance and resources to new and existing telehealth programs throughout Texas and Louisiana. It is one of 12 regional TRCs and three national centers in the country. Each one serves as a focal point for advancing the effective use of telehealth and support access to telehealth services in rural and underserved communities. Lonnie DuFour, the Quality Forum’s Director of Telehealth Services, serves as the State Project Coordinator for the TexLa TRC and chairs the Louisiana Telehealth Access Task Force. For more information about telehealth projects in Louisiana, contact DuFour at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

LaPOST Receives Grant Funding

08 17 LaPost logo in boxThe Quality Forum has received additional funding to educate long-term care nursing staff, residents, caregivers and families about advance care planning and the Louisiana Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (LaPOST) document. The 2018 funding is provided by a grant from the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), using Civil Money Penalties (CMP) paid into the Nursing Home Residents’ Trust Fund. Proposed training components include informational video programs, webinars, in-person presentations and educational materials. “Our thanks to the LDH for their ongoing support. With the CMP grant funding, we’ll be able to continue targeting long-term care facilities and sharing this valuable information to provide the best care possible to those residing in them,” noted LaPOST Coalition Chair Susan Nelson, MD. Please visit the LaPOST website for information about advance care planning and the document as well as a toolkit for long-term care professionals and an informational video for residents/caregivers.

FYI: Patient Centered Data Home

08 17 SHIEC logoThe Quality Forum has joined a growing list of organizations that have pledged to participate in the Patient Centered Data Home™ (PCDH) program. The program is an initiative of the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC) and fosters the vision that clinical data should be available whenever and wherever care occurs and “centered” around the patient to improve care. In this model, the data becomes part of the comprehensive longitudinal patient record in the health information exchange (HIE) where the patient information resides – the PCDH. In turn, the PCDH provides a cost-effective, scalable method of exchanging patient data among HIEs by triggering episode alerts, which notify providers that a care event has occurred outside of the patients’ PCDH and confirms the availability/specific location of the clinical data. SHIEC is a nonprofit, national consortium and trade association of statewide, regional and community HIEs and strategic business/technology partners that supports members through the exchange of ideas and business practices, public education and advocacy.

Webinar Features Health IT Workforce Training Materials

08 17 register now webinar aug 2017The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) will host an informational webinar on Wednesday, Sept. 6 at 10 a.m. (CT). The webinar will provide updated information about free workforce training instructional materials for health IT professionals and educators. The materials cover, but are not limited to, population health; care coordination and interoperable health IT systems; value-based care; patient-centered care; and health care data analytics. Click here for more information or to register.

LaPOST Webinar for Health Care Professionals

08 17 webinar register now
The LaPOST initiative will host a free informational webinar for health care professionals about advance care planning and the LaPOST document. LaPOST Coalition Chair Susan Nelson, MD, will lead the session, which is certified for one hour of CEU credit for social workers and nursing facility administrators. The webinar will be offered on Thursday, Sept. 21 and Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 8 a.m. Health care professionals may register for the webinar by clicking here. Registration is limited to 150 participants per session. If you have any questions, please contact Cynthia Michael, LaPOST Project Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.g.
Views From Past Board Presidents: Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, M.Sc

08 17 Karen DeSalvo MD
Dr. Karen DeSalvo, a Quality Forum founding board member, served as the organization’s second board president. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Dr. DeSalvo helped restore health care services in decimated areas of New Orleans while an administrator and professor with Tulane University’s School of Medicine. She then served as the city’s Health Commissioner, and in 2013, was appointed to head the ONC. Dr. DeSalvo left that post in 2016 to serve as Acting Assistant Secretary of Health at HHS. Since leaving government service in 2017, she has been writing and speaking about health care challenges and is co-chairing the Public Health Reaching Across Sectors (PHRASES) Initiative, a joint project launched by the Beaumont Foundation and the Aspen Institute. Earlier this year, Dr. DeSalvo answered questions about the Quality Forum’s achievements to reshape health care on the state and national levels.

“Louisiana’s focus on improving access to quality, affordable care after Hurricane Katrina was, and is, groundbreaking. The establishment of the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum was one of those successes that helped shepherd the important policy and practical work needed to make improvements. We were thoughtful about the need to advance a high quality, person-centered, community health infrastructure, and establishing expectations for practices to become patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs). The movement continues nationally and because practices like those in Louisiana demonstrated better outcomes, Medicare and other payers are now supporting these kinds of primary care models.

I would similarly point to Louisiana’s leadership in health IT. Even before the Health Information Technology Economic and Clinical Health Act, the Quality Forum was active in envisioning, encouraging and supporting the health care system to digitize the care experience for Louisiana residents. Given the early groundwork, it isn’t surprising that our state received all the major grants designed to advance the use of health IT, and the Quality Forum had responsibility for directing two of them. In addition, we have linked the importance of an electronic health record to better primary care in our PCMH work and in our efforts to demonstrate better care coordination through the emergency room alerts program.

I have no doubt that the movement toward value-based care will continue. This cannot be accomplished without a fully digitized and interoperable health system – a learning health system. Though it is always hard to know what will unfold, the vision and workplan to advance value-based care and a learning health system were developed in a public-private partnership by HHS and with bipartisan support. I have every reason to expect the trends will continue.”
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