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PQC Initiatives

 

Quality Improvement

PQC’s quality improvement initiatives seek to facilitate change in the healthcare system so that care is safer, better coordinated, and patient-centered. PQC has created learning laboratories where clinicians, healthcare workers and others collaborate on relevant issues identified by PQC membership. Past initiatives included the reduction of sepsis mortality, the reduction of childhood asthma, reduction of hospital-acquired infections, increasing the rates of childhood immunization, and lowering hospital readmission rates. Current, ongoing initiatives include: addressing the sustainability of prescription drug pricing, improving rates of health care worker immunization against influenza, reducing the carbon footprint of the healthcare delivery system and antibiotic stewardship initiatives.  
  • SEIU leadership enthusiastically endorses Immunization of Healthcare Workers against Influenza as a PQC initiative. SEIU leadership has chosen to set an example of immunization for healthcare workers. Press conferences have been held at campaign stops across the country, including: Montefiore Medical Center, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Health Partners, Maimonides Medical Center, Greater New York Hospital Association, and Kaiser Permanente.
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  • A unified message promoting healthcare worker immunization through education has been created.  PQC members’ immunization policies, best practices and baseline immunization information is captured prior to the annual launching of the PQC immunization campaign for the flu season. Members receive campaign toolkits, complete with draft language for written communications, social media suggestions, and an infographic ad entitled "Get Yours.” The 30-second ad was created to fight misconceptions about getting immunized and has received nearly 50,000 views. Watch: "Get Yours"

  • Pre and post season surveys of healthcare workers at PQC member institutions documented an increase in immunizations from 64% during the 2012 – 2013 season to 80% during the 2016 – 2017 season.
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  • In late 2015 decreases in childhood vaccinations in certain communities across US was posing a major public health threat. For the first four months of 2016 PQC launched a social media campaign to encourage childhood vaccinations, counter misconceptions about getting children vaccinated and to amplify the voices of healthcare providers. The goal was to target communities with decreasing rates of childhood immunization and send a clear message to parents that it is safe to vaccinate your children and unsafe not to. An ad was created that visualized preventable diseases to parents. It ran for four months until the end of April 2016 and reached 1.2M Facebook users. Most strikingly, 70% of the individuals to whom the ad was targeted actually clicked on and viewed it.
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  • In December 2015, PQC and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initiated a collaboration to promote the appropriate use of antimicrobials, improve patient outcomes, reduce microbial resistance and decrease the spread of infections caused by multidrug-resistant organisms. Antibiotic resistance is increasingly recognized as one of the most serious threats to public health. Loss of effective antibiotic treatment could make routine infections deadly, such as pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and wound infections, with patients who receive specialized care at highest risk. The CDC estimates antibiotic resistance causes a minimum of 2,000,000 illnesses and 23,000 deaths each year. As a coalition, PQC members have the ability to control two critical factors driving antibiotic resistance: overuse of antibiotics and the spread of resistant organisms in healthcare settings through poor infection control practices. To confront these issues, PQC created a Guidance Team to direct the Antibiotic Stewardship effort in three areas:
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    • Antibiotic Use in the In-Patient Care Setting;
    • Antibiotic Use in the Community Setting; and
    • The Role of Environmental Services in Infection Prevention.
  To learn more about the PQC Antibiotic Stewardship Initiative, click HERE.

Affordability

PQC has been exploring how to address the affordability of health care. Affordability is a broad concept that can be interpreted in many ways depending on the stakeholder’s vantage point. As healthcare costs become more transparent, much of the national conversation is focusing on healthcare costs as a percentage of the GDP or in comparison to other countries.  To others, discussion of affordability applies to healthcare costs for the individual consumer.  PQC recognizes the importance of affordable care for providers as well as for the workforce in delivering affordable healthcare.

Consumers frequently believe in an inherent trade-off between affordability and quality.  PQC is confident that providers can at the same time improve both affordability and the quality of care delivered to patients.  PQC’s work is to view affordability through the lens of quality, looking at resource use and cost of care.

PQC is working to better understand which aspects of affordability are most critical to its members and how the lens of affordability can enhance the work of the organization. In June of 2014, PQC jointly sponsored an affordability webinar with the National Quality Forum (NQF) that featured HealthPartners’ Total Cost of Care methodology. The event was co-hosted by Bernard Tyson, the CEO and Chairman of Kaiser Permanente, and Christine Cassel, the President and CEO of NQF. Click HERE to view the webinar.

PQC’s national committee to address the sustainable pricing of prescription drugs has hosted two forums in Washington DC to explore market-based solutions to ensure that individuals who need specialty drugs can afford them. The forums addressed the rising cost of prescription drugs in the United States, how it is affecting Americans and what can be done to change the landscape. Topics of discussion included the 2016 drug pipeline, value-based pricing, state transparency legislation and a discussion of options regarding the path forward.

Watch: 2015 Sustainable Prescription Drug Pricing Forum

Watch: 2016 Sustainable Prescription Drug Pricing Forum

Environmental Sustainability of the U.S. Healthcare System

In 2016, PQC began discussion of the issue of making the US healthcare system environmentally sustainable.  PQC recognizes that hospitals are the most energy heavy users in commercial settings and that according to a major national survey, large hospital systems consume more than 5% of the energy used by all commercial buildings.  The importance of reducing the carbon footprint of the healthcare industry was a conversation initiated in 2016. By working together, labor and management can begin to change the way the healthcare system uses resources and ensure a safe environment for future generations. PQC outlined a set of recommendations regarding cogeneration, combined heat and power, continuous commissioning, water efficiency, financing of new technology and of extreme importance retraining curricula for our workforce. PQC recognizes that as healthcare providers and frontline worker, it is not possible to provide preventive health and wellness if the community itself is not a healthy environment. PQC endorsed the SEIU resolution to promote environmental justice for working people and continues to address this issue as part of its ongoing work.

Workforce Transformation

In recent years, our nation has seen a dramatic shift in best practices for our health care system. Breakthroughs in research, the way care is delivered, and how we deploy the skills of our workforce have carved out a roadmap to achieve improved outcomes for patients at lower cost. Developing a workforce ready to deliver coordinated, comprehensive, high quality care was identified as a top concern among health care providers and unions who contribute to PQC. PQC’s commitment to workforce transformation aims to improve quality, patient outcomes, and cost-effectiveness through labor-management collaboration. Much of the national discussion on the readiness of our nation’s health care system to expand and improve the delivery of care has focused on the readiness of our physician and nursing workforce. PQC seeks to broaden the dialogue to include the service, professional, and technical workers who are essential to the patient care team.

Culture of Health

The "Culture of Health" initiativestrives to have the healthcare workforce serve as a model of healthy lifestyles for the rest of the country. Members of PQC are leveraging their positions as employers, providers and workforce leaders to encourage and assist the healthcare workforce to join together to become a model of personal health for the nation.

Through the Culture of Health, PQC has taken on a new role: becoming ambassadors of not only excellent clinical health, but also excellent personal health.



PQC Initiatives Archive