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Coronavirus Updates

Latest information from the CDC and Al. Department of Public Health

Alabama’s hospitals are committed to improving health care quality and work together through the Alabama Hospital Association to share best practices, provide staff education and develop improvement strategies.

Patients and Families – For hospital-specific quality reports and information you can use to help make your care more safe, visit www.jointhehealthjourney.com.

AlaHA Quality Resources

AlaHA Quality Task Force – Group of hospital quality directors that meets monthly and provides direction for the association’s quality improvement activities.  Contact Rosemary Blackmon to learn more.

Email Listservs – There are two primary listservs, one for AlaHA-member hospital quality directors and one for hospital infection practitioners.  Contact Rosemary Blackmon to be added to these listservs, providing your hospital name and title.

Rural Quality Network – This group of rural hospitals is funded by federal grants and is specifically for hospitals with 49 beds or less.  Participants meet several times a year and must agree to share data and attend meetings to participate.  For more information, contact Jane Knight.

Toolkits for specific programs and other resources, including a comprehensive guide for new quality directors and infection practitioners, are available at www.jointhehealthjourney.org in the “Provider Tools” section.

AlaHA Quality Updates Newsletter – The QNews Quality Newsletter from AlaHA is periodically emailed to Quality Directors and Infection Preventionists.

Medication Safety – Click here for information on how you can work with your health care provider to ensure you are taking the right medicines when you are in the hospital.

Health Care Worker Vaccinations – Read more 

State Quality Initiatives

Preventing health care associated infections – Read more.

Quality improvement organization – AQAF is the organization in Alabama that works with hospitals and other health care providers on various CMS-directed quality improvement projects.

National Quality Initiatives/Organizations

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is the federal agency charged with improving health care through research.

The portion of Hospital Compare that displays information on patient perspectives of their hospital care.

Hospital Compare
Web site that displays information about inpatient hospital care.

Hospital Quality Alliance
The Alliance is a reporting initiative providing information on the quality of care in hospitals who volunteered to report their data for selected clinical topics.  It includes the American Hospital Association, along with CMS and other private and public organizations.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement is a national organization that provides a number of free resources for quality improvement.

Institute for Safe Medication Practices
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) is a not-for-profit organization that works closely with healthcare practitioners and institutions, regulatory agencies, professional organizations and the pharmaceutical industry to provide education about adverse drug events and their prevention.

A business-sponsored, membership organization that seeks to publish information on hospital quality and safety practices.

National Quality Forum
The National Quality Forum (NQF) strives to improve health care through the endorsement of consensus-based national standards for measurement and public reporting of healthcare performance data.

Quality Check
The Joint Commission publishes information on hospital quality on its Web site “Quality Check.”

The Joint Commission  
This national organization inspects hospitals to ensure they meet certain quality standards.

Other Resources

Statewide trauma system – Alabama’s hospitals worked with the Alabama Department of Public Health and other providers and EMS personnel to create a statewide system that will ensure trauma victims get to the most appropriate hospital in the shortest amount of time. 

Preventing adverse events – Alabama’s hospitals are doing everything possible to make patient care as safe as possible.  The following list includes some of the projects they’ve been working on collectively.

Rapid response teams – Hospitals have formed teams of doctors, nurses and other staff who can be called to the bedside of a patient whose condition appears to be worsening.  This team can act quickly to assess the situation, provide the necessary care and admit the patient to the critical care unit if needed.  It has already been proven to save lives.

Finding out what went wrong – Alabama’s hospitals, in conjunction with AQAF (the state’s quality improvement organization for Medicare patients), developed an easy way for hospitals to identify potential problems and better understand how to avoid them in the future.  This program was taught to representatives from each hospital, who then shared the information with their employees.

Learning from hospital employees – Hospital leaders participated in a voluntary survey to find out what their staff members thought about the care they were providing.  Almost all hospitals participated, and information from this survey is now being used to focus quality activities, such as improving the communications between shifts and between departments.

Not billing when something happens that could have been prevented – As much as hospitals try to provide the best care, sometimes things happen that might have been prevented.  The Board of the Alabama Hospital Association  approved guidelines and distributed them to hospitals to use in identifying these types of events. Click here   to see a copy of these guidelines.