Improving the Quality of Healthcare in Central Oregon (Oregon)

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Summary:

The purpose of this project was to develop a regional approach to patient safety and quality of care in the Central and Eastern Oregon hospital Network (CONet) utilizing health care information technology. There were seven facilities that participated in the planning grant, with specific areas of focus defined during the planning process. The following methods were used to complete the planning process: 1) A modified Delphi process was utilized to identify a list of patient safety and quality initiatives of importance for the region's organizations, which were then ranked by CONet; 2) A regional vision for patient safety and quality was developed; 3) An assessment of technology and electronic data currently available within each of the facilities was completed, including a gap analysis between the current electronic capabilities and the top ranked patient safety and quality initiatives; and 4) A plan was developed. As a result, CONet CEOs and Quality Management professionals identified communication among physicians and facilities, as the key patient safety and quality area, which the CONet facilities desire to focus. The greatest risk was "knowing the patient" when handoffs occurred. The current technology assessment identified that four of the seven facilities have a significant portion of their point-of-care patient-care record in a paper format. The incremental methodologies identified were to first standardize the paper process and data sharing requirements when a patient is transferred between facilities. The next phase will be two pronged: a) automate the point-of-care documentation in those facilities which are primarily paper-based; b) develop a middleware strategy to share key data elements between facilities.

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