QIO Convenes Providers and Community Partners to Improve Heart Care in Utah

HealthInsight, the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for Utah, convenes providers  and community partners to help improve heart care for Utah’s residents. The statewide effort supports Million Hearts, a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

The QIO formed a Cardiac Learning and Action Network (LAN) in 2011 and engaged 60 outpatient clinics to collect quarterly data on four key measures of evidence-based cardiac care, including aspirin therapy, blood pressure control, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) control, and smoking cessation counseling.

HealthInsight mines the data and processes it into feedback reports that compare clinic results with community and national benchmarks. Worksheets and other timely resources accompany the feedback reports to target clinic workflows and facilitate improvement. This information empowers the clinics to monitor their performance and identify opportunities to improve care and clinical processes in their physician offices.

As a result, more patients are receiving evidence-based care and achieving better control over their health conditions.

  • Over the first year and a half of the initiative, from January 2012 through June 2013, the average absolute performance of participating clinics has increased 5-10 percent across these measures.
  • The reach of this intervention is about 13,000 patients for the measures of LDL control and smoking cessation counseling and more than 21,000 patients for the measure of blood pressure control.

HealthInsight continues to engage clinics in the LAN with newsletters detailing relevant research, continuing education opportunities, and sharing of best practices through the collection and dissemination of success stories from peer clinics in the network.