NORMAN — The Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality announced that October 14-20 was declared the first Oklahoma Healthcare Quality week by Gov. Mary Fallin. An event at the Oklahoma State Capitol Blue Room this week highlighted the work of healthcare quality and patient safety professionals and their influence on improved patient care outcomes and healthcare delivery systems.
“This is an exciting opportunity for OFMQ as we celebrate our 40th anniversary as a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving healthcare and improving lives,” said CEO Gregg Koehn. “We are here to publicly reinforce our commitment to quality improvement and to acknowledge the many partners and healthcare providers who contribute to improving care.”
Koehn cited examples of progress being made in Oklahoma as a result of quality improvement efforts by OFMQ and others. These include:
· Oklahoma nursing homes working with OFMQ achieved a 23 percent reduction in bed sores and reduced physical restraint use by 76 percent.
· Hospitals successfully adopted new processes for reducing the occurrence and spread of potentially deadly infections.
· Providers across settings of care are breaking down silos and working together to improve care coordination as patients move from hospital to nursing home or to home healthcare. With increased focus on quality improvement initiatives surrounding patient transitions and discharge planning, Medicare 30-day hospital readmission rates are decreasing. Nearly 2,000 fewer 30-day readmissions were reported in 2011 compared to 2009.
· More than 1,000 primary care doctors have implemented electronic medical records with OFMQ’s help since 2010. By using EMRs, providers can increase rates of preventive services such as cancer screens and immunizations.
OFMQ is an Oklahoma City-based not-for-profit consulting organization dedicated to improving health care and improving lives. The quality improvement organization acts as a consultant to healthcare providers throughout the state. OFMQ’s work is primarily focused in hospitals, nursing homes, and physician offices on targeted patient safety and preventive care measures.
The organization builds collaboration and partnerships among providers from every setting to promote best practices in quality improvement and better coordination of care.
Representatives from OFMQ included Gregg Koehn, chief executive officer and Dr. Glenn Lytle, medical director.
The event was supported by comments from Lt. Governor Todd Lamb, Dr. Mike Crutcher, director of medical quality at Variety Care, and LaWanna Halstead, vice-president for quality and clinical initiatives at the Oklahoma Hospital Association.
For 40 years, OFMQ has played an integral role in ensuring quality medical services for Oklahomans through health care review, quality improvement and health information technology consulting, and public education.