> Provider Corner | South Carolina Regional Group
After years of regular meetings, South Carolina's Regional Group is taking a more formal approach to their collaboration. In the past year the group has worked with NQC quality coach Barbara Boshard to develop a charter, quality management plan, and a work plan.
"The NQC coach was a driving force for the development of our quality plan. At first there was some eye rolling and some members thought that this was unnecessary," say Aaron O'Brien, a program analyst at Roper St. Francis Healthcare and a co-chair of the Regional Group. "As we moved through it, the value of the planning process became obvious."
As a result of the charter and shared work plan, members now have a shared set of goals and are using common performance measures. Specifically, they are using in+care Campaign measure related to viral load as well as a measure to track patient appointment adherence.
Another major change for the Regional Group is the sharing of data. This also grew out of the in+care Campaign. Initially, data were blinded but as members got more comfortable with sharing, the data were unblinded. Blinding in this context means that the various agencies were not identified as results were shared. Over time, the agencies found that it would be useful to unblind, or identify their results.
"Seeing the data has been really helpful," says Aaron. "It encourages the sense that we are a community of learners. There was no shame related to unblinding the data."
The group has built on this effort and used the NQC assessment tool to breakdown the client-level data by race/ethnicity, gender, and age. They are looking at out-of-care patients by demographics and exploring strategies for improving linkage and retention for these populations.
Another benefit of the group is the sharing of best practices, which takes place at every meeting.
"We refer to it as the senseless sharing and shameless stealing session," says Rick Hatton, data and quality coordinator at Affinity Health Center and the group's other co-chair. "It has been wonderful to see members incorporate these practices."
At a recent meeting, two organizations provided details on their peer navigation programs. As a result, one of the members initiated their own peer program and has secured a capacity building grant to support implementation.
The group has also taken steps to increase consumer involvement and recently added a consumer from Affinity Health Center as a member.
"This consumer has been extremely active in our organization and has attended the NQC's consumer training," says Rick. "He cares about the quality of care and his voice will make a difference in the group."