Welcome to the first Quality Corner information update from the Quality Integration Team at SDAHO. At the beginning of each month, the Quality Integration Department will provide an update on what is taking place within the department, important information that SDAHO members may benefit from and future projects those in the healthcare community may need to be aware of.
SDAHO’s Quality Integration Department plays a supportive role for our member hospitals across South Dakota, with the main focus on hospital quality and patient safety work. Members of the team work directly with the quality leads at each member hospital, delivering education and training through one-on-one sessions.
The team is made up of three dedicated staff with Becky Heisinger leading the team as the Director of Quality Integration. Loretta Bryan, RN BSN is a Clinical Improvement Consultant, working with hospitals in central, southeastern, and western, South Dakota. Michelle Hofer, RN BSN serves as a Clinical Improvement Consultant serving the north central and northeastern part of South Dakota in addition to a few sites in Minnesota. SDAHO recently made the change from one clinical improvement consultant to two. This allows the Quality Integration Department, to split the areas they serve reaching more member hospitals with the education and training they need. “I have the privilege of working with two very talented women as the Improvement Clinical Consultants and I get to oversee the activities taking place in the department. I also make sure we are meeting our goals and objectives and we are supporting our member hospitals.” – Becky Heisinger, Dir. Of Quality Integration, SDAHO.
The Quality Integration Department is currently working with the State of South Dakota on the Opioid Initiative. This will allow both Clinical Improvement Consultants to visit each site and do personal education and training on how to deal with individuals who are struggling with opioid misuse. More information on the Avoid Opioid SD, can be found on the SDAHO Website.
Working with rural member hospitals is an important element of the Quality Integration Team. The department recently hosted a two-week course with 29 rural quality lead members focusing on quality improvement. The course was funded with a grant through the South Dakota Department of Health which will allow those quality leads to sit for a certification exam, which is the gold standard in quality.
During the first phase of the pandemic, the federal government provided Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Grants (ASPR) to hospitals to help them purchase PPE (personal protective equipment) to help them combat COVID-19. The SDAHO Quality Department has been responsible for the management of those funds.
As the department looks to the future, members can expect an elevated presence from the Quality team, through SDAHO’s weekly Newsletter, the SDAHO website and social media platforms. Increased educational opportunities focusing on quality is also in the works as the team focuses on ways to provide additional value to members. In terms of long term plans the team is assessing how hospitals are managing measures and outcomes data. Currently the SDAHO Quality team supports the quality lead staff at each facility by uploading the information, but Becky says being able to take a closer look at that data and what it means could benefit our members even more. “What we want to get to is process improvement. We can look at those measures, digging deeper and finding out why things are happening the way they are and how can we make it better. That is one of our long-term goals in the coming year.” – Becky Heisinger, Dir. Of Quality Integration, SDAHO. Becky and the Quality Integration team are excited about the year ahead, connecting with member facilities and helping them as needed. The key vision for the department into the future, is to be seen as the leading experts in quality.