Harbor Health’s Commitment to Clinical Quality and Patient Safety

Harbor Health’s commitment in quality improvement mirrors its commitment to add value and enhance the patient experience while improving the health care outcomes for our patients and the communities we serve. As a Level III, Patient Centered Medical Home, Harbor Health Community Health Center sites are required to collect, report and improve the safety of our patients and the delivery of primary care.

Harbor Health’s Community Health Centers have a strong commitment to improving clinical outcomes through ongoing quality improvement initiatives. Our efforts include goal setting which take into consideration patient clinical outcome indicators, socioeconomic status and environmental realities. There is an ongoing identification of areas for improvement within the health centers and in relation to similar practices across the State and across the nation.

Harbor Health has a strong infrastructure including a robust Electronic Health Records system which lends itself in the collection, dissemination and follow up of numerous Quality Initiatives. We are making use of Patient Registries in evaluating patient outcomes and prioritizing clinical goals and objectives. Our patients receive important personalized clinical reminders and notifications about their health care through the use of Population Health, and have access to their care team, treatment and appointments through a Patient Portal.

 

Why Does It Matter

Level III Patient Centered Medical Homes like Harbor Health’s Community Health Centers, have the distinctive advantage of utilizing quality data and performance measures to support the key elements of the Medical Home; Comprehensive Team Based Approach, Patient Centered Care, Coordinated Care, Accessible Care, Quality and Safety.

Practice makes perfect! Through ongoing quality improvements, we become aware of any and all areas for improvements and work towards minimizing and in many cases eliminating our shortcomings. On the other hand, we get to understand what we do best and repeat it to benefit the patients.

The information generated through these initiatives is important to our patients, the communities that we serve, law makers and health care advocates. Transparency provides our patients with the right tools to make informed decisions about the where, how and by whom they will receive health care services that make sense to them. It also raises the level of accountability towards our funders. Through evidence based care, quality improvement initiatives and the constant pursue of excellence, Harbor Health is one of the highest performing provider organizations in the State and the Country.

And last but not least, measuring performance and improving care is in the core of a number of accreditation organizations such as the National Committee for Quality Assurance and the Joint Commission and it is Harbor Health’s obligation to respond to the call.

 

How Do We Measure It

Harbor Health’s unwavering commitment to quality improvements stems from its mission and core values and support the organization’s strategic goals and objectives. As a Federally Funded Community Health Center entity, our primary focus is providing access to anyone in the communities we serve. Our staff coming from these communities and working directly with patients from these communities, are the driver behind the selection of the measures. Harbor Health staff are involved in the selection, collection, tabulation and presentation of the measures. They have a vested interest in the process as they witness the impact of their work having a direct correlation in improving patient health outcomes.

Harbor Health Services, Inc. focuses its quality improvement efforts on four areas:

  • Access-Ensure our community has access to a Patient Centered Medical Home
  • Quality-Provide high quality of care that is comparable or better than national and statewide standards
  • Care-Focus on preventing disease and successfully manage chronic illnesses
  • Cost-Reduce cost and promote cost effective strategies in healthcare

 

Measures

Medication Reconciliation

Medication Reconciliation after Hospitalization age 18 and over

Site Year ending  6/30/2015 Year ending  12/31/2015
HCHC – H 62% 68%
HCHC – P 68% 70%
NHC 53% 55%
GGCHC 80% 67%
All HHSI 53% 57%
 

 

Medication Reconciliation after Hospitalization age 3 – 17
Site Year ending  6/30/2015 Year ending  12/31/2015
HCHC – H 0% 40%
NHC 41% 50%
All HHSI 35% 47%
Data source: DRVS, PCPRI

 

When comparing a patient’s medication orders after a hospitalization to all of the medications that the patient has been taking, medication reconciliation rates for patients over the age of 18 have increased from 53% to 57% in six months while for patients under the age of 18, rates have increased from 35% to 47% during the same period of time.

 

Why is it important to measure this?

Medication reconciliation is done to avoid medication errors such as missing medications, duplicate medications, dosing errors, or unwanted drug interactions.

 

Patients diagnosed with Diabetes with Hemoglobin A1C <=9    

Site  Year ending  6/30/2015  Year ending  12/31/2015
HCHC – H 67% 70%
HCHC – P 64% 60%
NHC 73% 72%
GGCHC 67% 66%
All HHSI 69% 69%
Data source: DRVS, PCPRI

When comparing Hemoglobin A1C levels among patients diagnosed with Diabetes our data indicates that 69% of patients’ A1C was equal or below 9.

 

Why is it important to measure this?

Hemoglobin A1C is a blood test that indicates how well a patient manages his/her diabetes. Patients with HA1C of less than 9 have a better handle of their diabetes which reduces the risk of complications related to the disease.