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e-News | March 2014

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

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Burke Joins Quality Forum Board of Directors

The Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum has named Daniel Burke to its Board of Directors.
Burke is the Director of Corporate Benefits for Turner Industries, headquartered in Baton Rouge. He holds a SPHR certification from HRCI and earned his B.A. in Government and Politics from George Mason University.

He joins B. Vindell Washington, MD, MHCM, FACEP (Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady in Baton Rouge, La.); Louis Minsky, MD (Minsky & Carver Medical Center for Wellness in Baton Rouge, La.); Lemar F. Marshall (North Oaks Obstetrics and Gynecology in Hammond, La.); Donna D. Fraiche, Esq. (Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, in New Orleans); Raymond A. Peters (RoyOMartin in Alexandria, La.); David M. Carmouche (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana in Baton Rouge, La.); John Carroll, CFM, APPC, CRPC, CSNA, AAMS (Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in Alexandria, La.); Catherine Fairchild, JD (Fairchild Law Office in Baton Rouge); Glen J. Golemi (UnitedHealthcare in Metairie, La.); Sandra Kemmerly, MD (Ochsner Health System in New Orleans); Anjum Khurshid, PhD, MB, BS (MD), MPAff (Louisiana Public Health Institute/Crescent City Beacon Community in New Orleans); Susan E. Nelson, MD, FACP, FAAHPM (Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System in Baton Rouge, La.); Leonard Weather, Jr., R.Ph, MD (Omni Fertility and Laser Institute in Shreveport); and Stephen Wright (CHRISTUS Health Louisiana in Alexandria, La.); on the Quality Forum’s Board of Directors.

Munn, Robin Speak At HIMSS Conference
Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum CEO Cindy Munn and Health Information Technology (IT) Program Manager Nadine Robin were among the speakers at the annual HIMSS Conference in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 24-27.

Munn’s presentation, “Aim to Sustain: Building a Business Model for HIE,” focused on the need for health information exchanges (HIEs) to understand their environments and collaborate with stakeholders to identify and implement value-added services that meet stakeholder needs.
“Sustainability is difficult, if not impossible, to attain if HIEs serve only as a utility,” Munn noted in her presentation. “There is no golden solution (for sustainability), but opportunities to generate revenue do exist.”
The key to identifying these opportunities, according to Munn, is to know the challenges that must be overcome, identify the return on investment for stakeholders and develop solutions that HIEs can offer stakeholders that will reduce operating costs and/or potentially increase revenue.
“We must focus on the future,” Munn said at HIMSS. “If we don’t focus on the future, someone else will accomplish what we should be doing, and we will be left behind.”
Robin’s roundtable session, “Patient Engagement: It’s for Small Clinics, Too,” focused on ways for small and/or rural practices to meet the patient engagement requirements of Meaningful Use (MU). She noted in her presentation that small clinics often do not have the staff or resources to develop “truly meaningful” tools for patient engagement. In response to that issue, she said, the Louisiana Health Information Technology (LHIT) Resource Center, and Louisiana’s Regional Extension Center (REC), has developed a number of tools and documents that can be used and re-branded by small practices to encourage patients to engage in their health care.
“These clinics are focused on taking care of the people in their waiting rooms. They don’t have marketing departments, they have limited financial resources, and they often have little or no health IT expertise,” Robin explained. “By creating high-quality, patient-facing education, we can help them overcome those challenges.”
The goal, according to Robin, should be more than simply meeting MU requirements.
“It must be truly meaningful,” she said. “The key is to be an educator and to be positive, and to remember that gimmicks only go so far.”
Munn’s PowerPoint presentation can be accessed here. To review Robin’s presentation, click here. To see a Facebook photo album of photos taken by Quality Forum team members at the conference, click here.

LaPOST Workshop Set For March 24

The Louisiana Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (LaPOST) Coalition will host a free workshop to provide LaPOST education at Nottingham Regional Rehab Center, 2828 Westfork in Baton Rouge, 2-3 p.m. on March 24.
The workshop will feature Susan Nelson, MD, chair of the LaPOST Coalition. Board certified in internal medicine, geriatrics and hospice and palliative medicine, she serves as medical director of Senior Services and PACE Baton Rouge, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System and St. Joseph Hospice. Dr. Nelson is a fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the American College of Physicians as well as an advocate for senior health. Dr. Nelson works with the Louisiana State Medical Society Council on Public Health and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, and serves as Vice-Chair of the Board of the Directors of the National Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Paradigm Task Force.
The workshop is certified for one-hour of CEU credit for social workers by the National Association of Social Workers, Louisiana Chapter, as authorized by the Louisiana State Board of Social Work Examiners, and may be applied toward the continuing education requirements for licensure renewal.
The course is also certified for one-hour of CEU credit for nursing home administrators by the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Nursing Facility Administrators.
Registration begins at 1:45 p.m. and a Q&A session will immediately follow the workshop. Light refreshments will be served.
To register for the workshop, click here.

LaPOST Ready Kickoff To Coincide With National Healthcare Decisions Day

The LaPOST Coalition, in collaboration with St. Francis Medical Center, will kick off its third ‘LaPOST Ready’ campaign in Monroe, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., on April 16 with a special event at Bayou DeSiard Country Club, located at 3501 Forsythe Ave.
The LaPOST Ready campaigns, held previously in Baton Rouge and Lafayette, are designed to provide LaPOST education and improve LaPOST awareness to specific audiences in target areas of the state. The third campaign will focus on the northeast portion of Louisiana.
The Coalition has timed the campaign to coincide with National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), a national initiative held annually on April 16 to increase awareness about the value of advance care planning. This is the second year for the Coalition to partner in the NHDD initiative, says Susan Nelson, MD, Chair.
“We seek to increase the number of Louisiana residents who have completed advance care planning by educating and empowering the public with information about the available resources, including the LaPOST document, advance directives and health care power of attorney documents,” says Nelson.
The Coalition, as part of its NHDD participation, has made available a “ready to publish and share” article about advance care planning and available resources on the LaPOST website, says Nelson.
“We encourage caregiver, health care, long-term care, faith-based and community organizations to share this article with their memberships. Our overall goal is to teach Louisiana residents not only about LaPOST, but about all the advance care planning tools they have available to them,” she explains. “We also encourage patients, consumers and caregivers to download our ‘Conversations Change Lives’ toolkit, which is designed to help people identify, share and document their end-of-life goals of care and treatment wishes.”
To learn more about NHDD, click here. To download the ‘Conversations Change Lives’ toolkit, click here. To download the LaPOST Coalition’s NHDD article, click here.

Surveys Underway For LaPOST Education, Implementation

The LaPOST Coalition is seeking insight regarding LaPOST education and implementation through two surveys now available on the LaPOST website.
In the LaPOST Education Survey, participants are asked to assist the Coalition in identifying the educational tools and resources that would facilitate greater awareness and utilization of the LaPOST document in various health care settings. The goal of the Coalition is to develop technology-based tools such as webinars, videos and electronic newsletters as well as self-directed tools and other materials. To complete this survey, click here.
The LaPOST Implementation Survey is designed to gather information from clinical settings in Louisiana to evaluate the penetration of LaPOST across the state. The information gathered through the survey will be kept confidential, de-identified and used in aggregate for trend reporting. Participants will receive a copy of the report along with tools and resources to help implement LaPOST. Click here to participate in this survey.

Nelson Named Vice-Chair Of National POLST Paradigm Task Force

Susan Nelson, MD, Chair of the LaPOST Coalition, has been named Vice-Chair of the National Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Paradigm Task Force (NPPTF) and its Executive Committee.
The purpose of the NPPTF is to advance education and science related to POLST and end-of-life care planning. It is dedicated to overseeing the success of the POLST Paradigm in every state and to establish clear tenets of the POLST Paradigm. As Vice-Chair, Nelson will serve as a key leader in shaping the direction of the National POLST Paradigm, says Amy Vandenbroucke, JD, Executive Director.
“Dr. Nelson is bringing the success she has achieved in implementing and developing the POLST Program in Louisiana, known as LaPOST, to the national level as Vice-Chair of the National POLST Paradigm Task Force. I look forward to working with her in strengthening the National POLST Paradigm to ensure that all seriously ill and/or frail patients have their treatment wishes honored,” Vandenbroucke says.
Nelson, a member of the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum’s Board of Directors, says, “I am very honored and excited to be a part of the national efforts to advance POLST education and awareness. It has been very gratifying to see the POLST program expand to so many states, and I look forward working with the National POLST Paradigm’s dedicated team to help develop policies and strategies to take the program even farther.”


Robin To Present At National Association Of Rural Health Clinics Spring Institute

Nadine Robin, Health IT Program Manager for the Quality Forum, has been selected to present at the National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) Spring Institute, March 17-19, in San Antonio, Texas.
Robin’s presentation will focus on the role of health IT in quality improvement and payment reform. Topics will include discussion of various funding sources that have provided health IT infrastructure, incentives and payment goals; how to use health IT in the implementation of quality improvement and payment reforms; and the role of rural health care providers in emerging care models.
NARHC is a national organization dedicated to improving the delivery of quality, cost-effective health care in rural underserved areas through the Rural Health Clinics Program. It works with Congress, federal agencies and rural health allies to promote, expand and protect the interests of rural clinics.
To learn more about NARHC, click here. To review the event agenda, click here.

ONC Accepting Public Comment On 2015 Edition Of EHR Certification Criteria

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released on Feb. 26 a Notice of Proposed Rule-Making (NPRM) that includes proposals for the 2015 Edition of Electronic Health Record (EHR) Certification Criteria and is now seeking public comments.
The proposed 2015 Edition EHR Certification Criteria would be voluntary, and no EHR developer whose technology has been certified under the 2014 Edition would need to be recertified in order for its customers to remain eligible to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, according to the NPRM. Also, eligible professionals, hospitals and critical access hospitals that participate in these programs would not need to upgrade to EHR technology certified by the 2015 Edition in order to meet the Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT) definition.
ONC notes in the NPRM that these proposed rule changes are designed to enable “a more efficient and effective response to stakeholder feedback,” incorporate “bug fixes” to make rules clearer and easier to implement and to “reference newer standards and implementation specifications.”
Click here to read the complete NPRM. Click here to submit feedback on the proposed rule changes.

CMS, ONC Release Draft Electronic Clinical Quality Measures

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) have released additional draft electronic clinical quality measures entitled, “Immunizations by 13 years of age – HPV,” and “Immunizations by 13 years of age – Meningococcus, Tetanus and Diptheria.”
These measures are among those being considered for inclusion in federal programs such as the Meaningful Use (MU) program. They are now available for review, download, testing and public comment by clicking here.
To access the draft measures, click on the ‘Draft Measures’ tab and select the preferred measure. Use the ‘Provide Feedback’ to submit comments to CMS and ONC about the measures. Feedback will be reviewed and used to identify issues within the measures.

    • On Feb. 28, the Healthcare Journal of Baton Rouge published in its eNews a press release announcing that Medistar Home Health recently became the first such company in the state to go live with LaHIE. Read the article here. The article also appeared in the March 6 edition of the Healthcare Journal of New Orleans’ eNews. Click here to read that article.
    • Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health updated its strategic vision on its website in February to include LaPOST. The vision states, “Working with the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum, we are leading the LaPOST initiative.” Read the full statement here.

    • Louisiana Medical News, on Feb. 28, published an article about new ONC head Karen B. DeSalvo, MD, a founding board member of the Quality Forum. The article details DeSalvo’s appointment to the position and describes her leadership in efforts to implement health IT in Louisiana. Read the article here.

    • Nadine Robin, Health IT Program Manager for the Quality Forum, was featured in a Feb. 27 article by The article discussed challenges faced by Regional Extension Centers (RECs) and described the patient engagement model rolled out by the Louisiana Health Information Technology (LHIT) Resource Center. Robin is quoted as saying, “(Providers) are relying on the regional extension center to get them through Meaningful Use. They have a third-party IT company that comes in if they have a networking or computer problem, but they can’t afford the resources that large integrated delivery networks can afford.” Read the article here.
    • A Quality Forum Blog post by CEO Cindy Munn was included in Week 2 of the HIMSS Blog Carnival. The post, “Health IT: Adding Value to Health Care for the Average Joe,” presented a hypothetical patient, ‘Joe,’ and discussed the ways in which health IT can improve the delivery, quality and coordination of his health care. Read the full Week 2 Blog Carnival here.
    • A Quality Forum Blog post by Health IT Program Manager Nadine Robin was included in Week 1 of the HIMSS Blog Carnival. The post, “The Time Is Now,” focused on the value of health IT and the role it plays in the delivery of health care, particularly to patients in rural areas. Read the full Blog Carnival article here.

    • published on Feb. 8 a preview of Health IT Program Manager Nadine Robin’s roundtable session at the annual HIMSS Conference. The article included an interview with Robin, who described the key items she would discuss in her presentation. When asked to share advice for providers working to achieve Meaningful Use, Robin advised, “Don’t get caught up in what to do to meet the regulation, but in giving value. Regulation has to just be the cherry on top.” Read the article here.
    • On March 3, the Quality Forum Blog featured a post jointly written by Cindy Munn, CEO;Nadine Robin, Health IT Program Manager; Linda Morgan, Marketing and Communication Director;Michael Zarruk, Health IT Account Coordinator; and Jamie Martin, Marketing and Communication Coordinator. The post includes each individual’s perceptions and key take-aways from the 2014 HIMSS Conference in Orlando, Fla. Read the post here.

    • Quality Forum CEO Cindy Munn has been selected to speak at the Big Data in Healthcare Conference in Boston, Mass., in April. Her presentation will focus on the use of analytics to achieve quality in health care.
    • The Healthcare Journal of Baton Rouge published in its March 7 edition of eNews the news that Susan Nelson, MD, Chair of the LaPOST Coalition, has been named Vice-Chair of the National POLST Paradigm Task Force. Read the story here.

    • Karen DeSalvo, MD, past president of the Quality Forum Board of Directors and current National Coordinator for Health IT at the ONC, has been named one of the 40 “Smartest People in Healthcare” by Becker Hospital Review. The article includes a bio of DeSalvo and references her work with the Quality Forum. Read the article here.

    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..