Medical group cuts uncontrolled diabetes by 29% in less than 90 days
Borgess Health employed an array of intensive patient engagement strategies, letting the data lead the way.
CHICAGO -- Cindy Gaines, a registered nurse, said it came as a bit of a surprise when leadership of Kalamazoo, Michigan-based Borgess Health (a member of Ascension Health) approached its medical groups in 2015 with a challenge: For the final quarter of the fiscal year, they were told to improve a quality metric of their choice by 20 percent.
It's rare for most health organizations to even attempt a 20 percent improvement in anything, even over the course of a year, said Gaines, vice president and chief operating officer at Borgess Medical Group, speaking at the HIMSS Pop Health Forum on Monday. Here they were supposed to effect a major turnaround in a critical chronic disease indicator in just 90 days?
Gaines and her colleagues chose to tackle uncontrolled diabetes, focusing on patients with hemoglobin A1c levels greater than 9. But it would be a challenge, to say the least.
"We're very good at taking care of the patient in front of us," said Gaines. "We're very episodic."
But "the real game-changer of pop health is suddenly I'm accountable for you even when you didn't come in front of me," she said. "Just because you haven't been in doesn't make me any less accountable for your care, which means we have to engage our patients differently."
The first step was to take a close look at at the information the medical group had at hand.
"In population health, one of the very basic foundational things you can do is start with the definitions," said Gaines. "Let your data ta Continue reading