CPIN: A Physician Resource for Quality Improvement

The Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) Foundation for Health Care Improvement has joined with the Washington Health Alliance and the Washington Academy of Family Physicians to create the Clinical Performance Improvement Network (CPIN), an educational program designed to assist physicians practices' quality improvement efforts. Read on for helpful information on available courses .

The WSMA Foundation for Health Care Improvement and the
the Washington Health Alliance and the Washington Academy of Family Physicians have created the Clinical Performance Improvement Network (CPIN), an educational program designed to assist physician practices’ quality
improvement efforts.

The CPIN offers opportunities for medical practices to collaborate with one another by sharing best practices,
proven innovations, and resources in order to stimulate accelerated and efficient implementation of quality
improvements into practice settings.

In 2015, CPIN webinars will focus on three key courses: Choosing Wisely®, Honoring Choices® Pacific Northwest,
and Washington Health Alliance Reports. This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.
For more information and to register online, please visit www.wsma.org/CPIN.

About the Courses

Physicians play a critical role in initiating conversations about appropriate care with patients and other clinicians. Choosing Wisely® is about doing the right thing for patients and avoiding care that could harm them. A national initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation, Choosing Wisely has enlisted more than 70 medical specialty societies to create lists of “Things Physicians and Patients Should Question” which provide specific evidence-based recommendations for conversations on the risks and benefits of various medical tests.

The WSMA, Alliance, and The Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) convened the Washington State Choosing Wisely Task Force, which is working to advance Choosing Wisely in Washington State by identifying opportunities for improvement, facilitating implementation and integration, and ultimately reducing the number of unnecessary tests and procedures.

At a webinar on September 23, task-force members will provide attendees with specific strategies they can use to reduce overuse and potential harm to patients in their practice. They will also discuss specific steps systems can take to create organizationwide change.

WSMA Foundation board member and Washington State Choosing Wisely Task Force member Scott Kronlund,MD, believes physicians around the state are ready for the initiative.

“If we can put our efforts into this initiative and make it successful, then can we create a halo effect for other issues as well,” Dr. Kronlund says. “We’re not talking about rationing; we’re talking about rational use. We’re not saying  'Don’t do these things.’ We’re simply saying, ‘Think twice about it.’”

The whole point of Choosing Wisely, he says, is “to catalyze meaningful dialogue between physicians and their patients in the spirit of shared decision-making around the relative risks and
benefits of medical interventions while also becoming better stewards of valuable health-care resources.”

Honoring Choice Pacific Northwest is an advance-care planning implementation program that aims to inspire conversations about the type of care people want if faced with a life-threatening illness. This joint initiative of the WSHA and WSMA seeks to ensure that everyone in Washington State will receive care that honors personal values and goals at the end of life.

Through this initiative, physicians, hospitals and other health-care providers will access the necessary training and
resources for discussing, recording, and honoring people’s wishes at the end of their lives. Patients will also get the tools they need to make informed care choices and to talk to their families and health-care providers about their end-of-life wishes. Resources are available at www.honoringchoicespnw.org.

At a webinar on October 25, experts will discuss the critical need to improve the health-care delivery system’s ability to know and honor patients’ choices during serious or life-threatening illnesses, as well as provide specific
strategies organizations can undertake to improve end-of-life care delivered to their community.

Dr. Kronlund says some of the most difficult but rewarding times in his career as a family physician have come from open, frank conversations with patients about the end of life. “I have had more people thank me
for telling the truth than dodging the issue,” he says. “I have always believed one of the best services I could provide someone is a quality death, in keeping with what they wanted to accomplish in their lives.

“You actually have a professional obligation to let people know when your interventions are futile.You need to ask at that point,‘How can I help you now?’”

Bringing together providers, patients, and insurance companies, the Washington Health Alliance is working to create a high-quality, affordable system for the people of Washington State.

The Alliance is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that shares the most reliable data on health-care quality and value in the state to help providers, patients, employers, and union trusts make better decisions about health care. They set expectations for community performance on evidence-based practices that improve health while reducing waste and cost.

In early 2015, the Alliance presented the results of the Community Checkup—its annual report highlighting health-care quality and value at medical groups and hospitals in Washington State. The community as a whole sees the report as a critical component in the overall effort to transform the healthcare system and has become the go-to resource for unbiased, trustworthy data about the quality of health care in Washington State.

“Changing the health-care system is not a task that can be accomplished quickly, no matter how dedicated system leaders may be to change,” says Nancy A. Giunto, the Alliance’s executive director. “The Community Checkup
serves as a reminder that the debateabout improving the value of health care, including quality, needs to be a public one with transparent data to inform the conversation.”

At a webinar on November 18, the Alliance will present on the 2015 Community Checkup results which will be aligned with the Washington State Common Measure Set for Health Care Quality and Cost. A diverse group of
stakeholders convened to recommend standard statewide measures of health performance to inform public and
private health-care purchasing, as well as propose targets to track costs and improvements in health outcomes. The final list of starter measures was approved in December 2014.

The WSMA Foundation, Alliance, and WAFP are pleased to offer this educational program to physicians across Washington State as a resource for those implementing quality improvements into practice settings.

Contributed by Jessica Martinson, MS, Director - Clinical Education and Professional Development Washington
State Medical Association, Jessica@wsma.orgwww.wsma.org.