Monday, February 04, 2019
by Kathryn Holleman • firstname.lastname@example.org
BJC | The Joint Commission has named BJC HealthCare as one of only four 2018 Expert Contributors to its Pioneers of Quality Proven Practices program. The recognition marks BJC as a national leader in successfully leveraging electronic clinical quality measures (eCQM) and health information technology (IT) to drive quality improvement, and illustrates one of the ways BJC is helping to make medicine better across the U.S.
BJC was recognized for its work to advance the evolution and use of eCQMs across multiple, disparate legacy systems, such as McKesson and AllScripts, and through system-wide Epic implementation. The Joint Commission also invited the BJC eCQM team to present on those practices during a July 2018 Joint Commission webinar viewed by hundreds of health care professionals across the U.S.
The honor comes as eCQMs become increasingly important to American health care. As providers move toward the goal of transitioning entirely to electronic health records (EHR), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) now require reporting of eCQM data. Not only can CMS impose substantial financial penalties on hospitals that don’t report electronically, but BJC leaders believe a robust electronic quality measurement program will be the future and foundation for effective hospital patient safety and quality improvement programs, leading to safer patient care and better outcomes.
‘Not a slam dunk’
Despite the eventual success and the recognition from The Joint Commission, BJC’s journey to integrate eCQM into Epic seemed daunting, when it kicked off in late 2015. “This wasn’t a slam dunk project,” says Mary Burton, Center for Clinical Excellence group manager, clinical quality reporting.
The challenge was not only making sure eCQM management functions worked in the new EHR — Epic — but also making sure they worked across all the hospitals within the organization.
Two factors combined to get the eCQM program up and running successfully: BJC has a history of using data technology in quality improvement efforts and the exceptional team working on the project, Burton says.
In 2009, before CMS-mandated electronic reporting, the BJC Center for Clinical Excellence began a preventable harm reduction initiative. Being able to electronically collect, analyze and track data is key to the ongoing success of the initiative and continuing reduction of preventable harm across the organization.
That kind of experience provided the foundational background for the BJC eCQM team’s goals, says Burton.
“We wanted more than just reporting,” she says. “We wanted a rock-solid program.”
The core eCQM team was small, with only about a dozen members. In addition to CCE personnel, the team included Epic project and IS employees, plus representatives from software vendor Encore.
The team also had strong leadership in Keith Woeltje, MD, BJC vice president and chief information officer, and Ginny Clark, BJC IS operations director,
says Burton, who fostered the collaboration between the clinical and technical sides of the team.
“I am very proud of what this team has accomplished,” says Dr. Woeltje. “They have displayed exceptional initiative and collaboration to problem-solve multiple challenges. Their hard work has BJC well positioned to be a leader in eCQM monitoring and reporting.”
In addition, says Elizabeth Greiner, CCE health care informatics consultant, team members were willing to work through problems and do “heavy lifting” when needed. “Each person contributed. It was a lean team, but everybody knew their job, and everybody did it.”
The academic hospitals’ Epic go-live marked a major milestone, but not the end of the project. The Memorial hospitals are next to be added when they go-live on Epic.
In the meantime, the Expert Contributor honor and the chance through The Joint Commission to work with other hospitals involved in similar projects offers opportunities to BJC.
“We’re looking for partners in this,” says Burton. Collaborating can help BJC continue to improve its eCQM practices, leading to continuous improvement in patient care and safety.
BJC’s experience can benefit other health care systems. And more and better data from more hospitals can eventually have an even larger impact.
“We’re thrilled we were able to participate in national pilots sponsored by CMS on eCQM development, provide feedback on proposed measures, and continue to seek opportunity to influence national policy,” says Burton.
Number of views (1251)/Comments (4)
2/4/2019 2:00 PM
Congratulations on the recognition. Your teams guide us to do better work every day.
2/5/2019 12:27 PM
Well-deserved, eCQM Team!
2/7/2019 10:32 AM
Congrats to Josh and the rest of team. Thank you for all you do to help us become better!
2/13/2019 3:58 PM