A new year can bring many things. It can bring renewal. It can bring opportunity. It can bring resolve. Regardless of what a new year ushers in, one thing is for certain—there will be change.

While the Vizient Performance Improvement Collaboratives program will continue its mission of facilitating peer-to-peer improvement initiatives through knowledge sharing, subject matter expert insight and learning resources, starting this year, there’s a new spin.

“We traditionally offered projects that lasted nine to 12 months, but now members need something more focused and a little faster,” said Laural Whitmore, associate vice president, performance improvement collaboratives at Vizient. “For 2019, we’re moving to a ‘rapid-cycle format’, with projects that have a narrower focus and are on a shorter timeframe. This opens up new options for members to be involved in the areas that are most important to their improvement efforts.”

One example of this new methodology can be seen with the sepsis collaborative that will launch in the second quarter of this year. The project is divided into three different components, each addressing early identification of sepsis in specific care settings: ED, inpatient and ambulatory. The duration of each component is three months and members can choose to participate in the individual components where their need for improvement is the greatest.

“This rapid-cycle format is a big part of what we’re planning for 2019. We’re getting a lot of good feedback on the concept, and I think it will be more impactful to participants and their organizations,” said Whitmore.

In addition to the changes in project timeframes, Whitmore noted their research showed that overall topics for the projects are evolving. Members continue to be interested in quality-focused projects, but are asking if we can help them in other areas. “Our collaboratives will maintain their robust clinical focus, but with some operational projects to help expand the offerings,” said Whitmore.

The collaboratives for 2019 will focus on: ambulatory care; value analysis; pharmacy impact on areas like opioids, adverse drug events and medication management; and patient and family engagement. “We are doing more in each of these areas – whether it’s ambulatory care or supply chain value analysis – in order to help our members make effective improvements throughout their organizations,” Whitmore said.

More than a dozen new collaboratives and benchmarking studies will launch over the course of 2019 and members will be able to engage with experts who are well-versed in a variety of disciplines.

Some of the offerings include:

  • Maternal mortality: This two-part collaborative launching in first quarter will focus first on postpartum hemorrhage, followed by preeclampsia and eclampsia.   
  • Standardizing care for stroke patients: Launching in the second quarter, this two-part collaborative will initially cover reducing clinical variation and then move to a focus on systemwide stroke care.
  • COPD chronic care management: This three-part collaborative launches in the third quarter and will offer strategies to improve points of access, standardized care and community partnerships to better manage care for COPD sufferers.
  • Cybersecurity for medical devices: This first quarter benchmarking study will examine the current state of cybersecurity for medical devices and identify leading practices for advancing to the next level of cybersecurity.
  • Workplace violence: This third quarter benchmarking study will identify leading practices and where members compare in relation to peers in establishing workplace violence prevention programs.
  • Shared decision-making: This benchmarking study, launching in Q4, will explore how clinicians and patients are collaborating to determine what care is optimal for the patient based on clinical evidence.

Click here to see a full list of collaboratives and benchmarking studies scheduled for 2019.

Whitmore is excited about this year’s topics. “Our purpose is to be a thought leadership resource for member organizations looking for support on these issues. We’re doing that work on our members’ behalf so they don’t have to go through and try to figure out every detail, what the best practice is and how they should approach the challenge.”  

Whitmore added, “You truly can make improvements faster when you’re talking with colleagues who are tackling the same issue. By understanding each other’s barriers and having a forum for sharing information and successes, and accessing subject matter experts and resources, you can better navigate the road you’re on as an organization looking to improve.”

Interested in participating with Vizient on a 2019 collaborative that can better serve your hospital or facility? Click here.

Published: January 17, 2019