Quality Care

  • Knowing What to Do for Sickle Cell Patients Is Not Enough

    Posted November 30, 2015 by Elissa Faro, PhD

    Sometimes, even when we have guidelines and evidence-based practices to improve care and outcomes for individuals with sickle cell disease, it isn’t always enough.

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  • Inspiring Change through Motivational Interviewing

    Posted September 08, 2015 by Rachel Kremen

    Helping people make a long-term, healthy lifestyle choice doesn’t have to be daunting. The key lies in motivating—not indoctrinating—the client. Motivational interviewing is a style of communication for helping someone explore and resolve their ambivalence to change.

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  • Resources and Must Reads for Infant Mortality Awareness and Sickle Cell Awareness Month

    Posted September 01, 2015 by NICHQ

    NICHQ is joining with organizations around the country and world to celebrate Infant Mortality Awareness Month and National Sickle Cell Awareness Month in September. NICHQ has a long history of working to improve outcomes on these health topics. We invite you to explore and share our resources, stories, videos and other materials related to reducing infant mortality rates and improving care for individuals with sickle cell disease.

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  • A Retrospective: The Development and Use of the Vanderbilt ADHD Behavior Rating Scales

    Posted August 24, 2015 by NICHQ

    The rate of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis has jumped 15 percent in the last six years according to recent data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The NICHQ Vanderbilt Assessment Scale, developed through the ADHD Learning Collaborative, remains a foremost tool for helping healthcare professionals diagnose the disease. We recently invited Mark Wolraich, MD, from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, the creator of the Vanderbilt Rating Scales (from which the NICHQ version was adapted), to share the story of the scales’ development, utility and their continued relevancy.

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  • The Linchpin in Patient-Centered Medical Home Transformation

    Posted August 11, 2015 by NICHQ

    NICHQ has long been a champion for the active participation of family partners on improvement teams. The reason is simple: system improvement should be driven by the perspective of the people most closely affected by the system’s performance. This was a foundational principle for the CHIPRA Massachusetts Medical Home Initiative, in which the engagement of family partners on improvement teams helped transform 13 pediatric practices into patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs). As a result, the initiative was among the nominees for the 2015 John Q. Sherman Award for Excellence in Patient Engagement.

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  • Expanded Portfolio Inches NICHQ Closer to Vision

    Posted July 31, 2015 by NICHQ

    NICHQ is thrilled to be awarded three new projects. With each project, and with the support of our fantastic partners, we’re inching closer to NICHQ’s vision of a world where all children achieve their optimal health.

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  • 5 Key Elements of High-Performing Pediatric Care Coordination

    Posted July 07, 2015 by NICHQ

    A new paper from NICHQ presents a framework from improving care coordination services in pediatric primary care. Derived from lessons learned from the Massachusetts CHIPRA Medical Home Learning Collaborative, the paper address five key elements of high-performing pediatric care coordination.

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  • Why I Participate: By Parent Partner Malorie Thurman

    Posted July 02, 2015 by Malorie Thurman

    Malorie Thurman, a mother of three, says she joined the Texas Ten Step Star Achiever Breastfeeding Learning Collaborative as a parent partner as a way to see that mothers are given the best possibility to experience the outcome they desire with their delivery. "This was my opportunity to give back to those who had been so helpful to me and my family. It is a wonderful feeling knowing you have been an intricate part of such amazing changes that will impact so many people in and around your community."

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  • New Guide for Improving Sickle Cell Disease Treatment in the ED Helps Close Disparity Gaps

    Posted June 25, 2015 by NICHQ

    Sickle cell disease patients wait in excruciating pain longer than they have to for treatment. Guidelines do exist, but they have not been consistently implemented, particularly in acute care settings. Our new guide was designed to help providers bridge this gap.

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  • A Look Back at 4 Years of Improving Sickle Cell Disease Care at a Systems Level

    Posted June 11, 2015 by NICHQ

    From 2011 to 2015, NICHQ served as the National Coordinating and Evaluation Center for the Sickle Cell Disease Newborn Screening Program (SCDNBSP). NICHQ convened grantee teams and collaborated with them to focus on areas of similarity (acute care; care coordination/medical home; screening and follow up; self-management; and transition of care) to achieve breakthrough improvements in care for children and adults with SCD.

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  • How One Mom is Raising the Profile of Sickle Cell Disease

    Posted May 27, 2015 by Cindy Hutter

    Tammy Smith’s daughter, Precious, often got sick as a baby and she cried—a lot. It wasn’t until Precious became so sick and nearly died that Tammy took her to a different hospital for treatment and learned that Precious had sickle cell disease (SCD). Fast forward 30 years and Tammy is making sure other families don’t have the same experience that she and her daughter had.

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  • High-Profile Coverage for a High-Passion Concern

    Posted May 11, 2015 by Lauren A. Smith, MD, MPH

    We are excited and galvanized by our progress so far in reducing infant mortality and hope you will help us spread awareness about this critically important issue. I invite you to participate, learn, share and donate through the Huffington Post fundraising campaign. Our eyes are on the prize of reducing infant mortality and eliminated disparities in infant mortality.

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  • Advice from One MD to Another on Supporting Breastfeeding

    Posted May 01, 2015 by Todd Wolynn, MD, IBCLC, MMM

    I’m often asked how I, a man, got involved in breastfeeding medicine. The truth is: I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. And that experience made me the right person.

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  • Why I Participate: By Parent Partner Lilia Rodriguez

    Posted April 28, 2015 by Lilia Rodriguez

    Prior to our daughter, Selah, being born in 2013, I had many visits to the doctor’s office with concerns about medical issues. I was told we would have to wait and see how the delivery went: “You may require a scheduled C-section.” The first thought that raced through my mind was: I want to be alert to breastfeed my baby.

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  • A New Day Aborning for Childbirth

    Posted April 21, 2015 by Jeannette T. Crenshaw, DNP, RN, LCCE, IBCLC, NEA-BC, FAAN

    Because safe and healthy birth sets the stage for successful breastfeeding, we also need focus in a similar way on the actions everyone can take to promote safe and healthy birth.

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  • Snowballs Used to Be Cool

    Posted February 26, 2015 by Jack Maypole, MD

    Boston’s historical snowfall has crippled transit systems, stressed overtaxed social support networks and created insurmountable challenges for all. But, most especially, it has created substantially more difficult—and at times potentially dangerous—conditions for parents of medically complex children who have marginal access to care in the best of times.

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  • Breastfeeding Collaboratives Provide Road Map for Long-Term Success

    Posted February 16, 2015 by Kristie Velarde

    Increasing exclusive breastfeeding rates can seem like a lofty goal for some hospitals, particularly when rates hover below 20 percent. Several hospitals participating in NICHQ-led learning collaboratives found a path that not only brought double-digit growth, but also set the stage for Baby-Friendly designation. Now these hospitals are using best practices to sustain breastfeeding rates and improve outcomes in other clinical areas.

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  • Sickle Cell Pain Protocol Reduces Wait Times for Meds and Eases Patient Frustration

    Posted February 13, 2015 by Rachel Kremen

    To improve the care of its sickle cell patients, Boston Medical Center developed a drug protocol that makes it possible to make quick, accurate decisions about acute care. As a result, the average time to first dose of medication for sickle cell patients experiencing a pain crisis dropped from nearly an hour to 22 minutes. ER staff also stopped second-guessing sickle cell patients asking for pain killers.

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  • Breastfeeding Success Depends On Support During Pregnancy As Much As After

    Posted February 09, 2015 by Pamela Berens, MD

    Most new moms have heard the message that breastfeeding is best for the health of their baby. Unfortunately, successfully meeting a breastfeeding goal isn’t always as easy as deciding to breastfeed. Having ongoing education about breastfeeding during pregnancy can help just as much as post pregnancy, yet it is often not emphasized enough.

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  • Managing the Universe of Special Healthcare Needs

    Posted November 17, 2014 by Katrina McCarty, MPA

    A vast universe of symptoms, medications, complications, specialists and tests constantly surround my friend Julie. She is 38 and has Type 1 diabetes (T1D), which she was diagnosed with at age 10. Her quest for a long and prosperous future of good health is both harrowing and inspiring.

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  • Viewing Health as a System

    Posted March 07, 2014 by Charlie Homer, MD, MPH

    Improvement science teaches us to view outcomes—such as health—as the inevitable product of a system, with the implication that achieving improved outcomes requires changing the system itself. A deep understanding of the system and how it functions can enable smarter decisions about selecting high leverage changes in order to improve system performance.

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  • Improvement - A Philosophy to Live By

    Posted January 11, 2014 by Meghan Johnson, MSc

    For as long as I can remember, I have been working to make things more organized, effective and efficient. I have spent countless hours organizing and reorganizing things in my life – everything from my son’s toys and games to the storage of our digital photos. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that I have spent over a decade in project management and just over a year ago, found my way to NICHQ and discovered quality improvement science.

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  • Removing the Burden of Care Coordination

    Posted January 06, 2014 by Cindy Hutter, MBA

    I had never heard of the concept of a medical home before coming to NICHQ, but I’ve now seen what is possible in a patient-focused system where primary care physicians and specialists coordinate to deliver high-quality healthcare. In situations like mine, where there are no established protocols to follow, the need for a medical home is most critical—and paradoxically, most lacking.

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