LANCASTER, Ohio (July 7, 2011) – Fairfield Medical Center is one of 18 Ohio hospitals being recognized nationally for participating in the State Action on Avoidable Rehospitalizations (STAAR) Initiative, a multi-state effort to reduce rehospitalizations. Led by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and sponsored by the Quality Institute of the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA), STAAR is a model showing great promise and is highlighted in the July issue of Health Affairs. Health Affairs is a leading national journal that explores health policy issues of current concern.
STAAR teams collect data for all-cause, 30-day, readmission rates, review medical records, and conduct interviews of recently admitted patients to better understand opportunities to improve processes of care communications and transitions for patients from the hospital to home or some other community setting.
Taking this one step further, Fairfield Medical Center has taken the lead to pilot The Care Transitions InterventionSM, with the help of Brenna Gardner, Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging Registered Nurse. During a four-week program, patients with complex care needs receive specific tools, are supported by a Transitions CoachTM, and learn self-management skills to ensure their needs are met during the transition from hospital to home. As a Transitions CoachTM, Gardner has worked collaboratively with Fairfield Medical Center to initiate the transition program during the patient’s hospitalization. The pilot began in April and will continue through August. Gardner is also working on obtaining her Master’s Degree at The Ohio State University and this pilot is part of her clinical experience.
One patient who has benefited from the pilot program is Lancaster resident Herman Sharp. “After my husband was discharged, we met with Brenna at our home and she gave us some pointers for when we went to the doctor for Herman’s follow-up appointment. She told us to write down questions beforehand and that was such a big help,” said Sharp’s wife, Patricia Sharp. “This pilot is a great benefit in the long run, especially for patients that don’t have a lot of family or medical knowledge.”
Lisa Lanning, a Six Sigma Black Belt at Fairfield Medical Center, has been overseeing a local team that meets regularly at Fairfield Medical Center to improve health care transitions. “The Fairfield STAAR Collaborative is a consortium of individuals from area health-care institutions and related agencies who, since October 2011, have collaborated to reduce avoidable rehospitalizations by improving transitions across the continuum of health care,” said Lanning. “If Ohio could reduce Medicare readmissions from the current rate of 19.8% to the level of the best performing states, $162 million could be saved annually in Ohio alone.”
The Fairfield STAAR Collaborative includes representatives from a broad range of healthcare service providers, including:
• Fairfield Medical Center – Acute Care Facility
• CareTenders Visiting Nurses – Home Health Care
• Sunbridge Homestead Healthcare – Skilled Nursing Care
• Meals on Wheels – Older Adult Alternatives of Fairfield County, Inc – Community-Based Support Services
• Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging - Community-Based Support Services
• Buckeye Hills Area Agency on Aging - Community-Based Support Services
• Southeastern Ohio Center for Independent Living - Community-Based Support Services
• FairHope Hospice and Palliative Care – Palliative and Hospice Services
The 18 participating Ohio hospitals are targeting patient care transitions — the process of moving a patient from the hospital setting to home care or another health care setting — with enhanced patient communication and timely follow-up after hospital discharge.
Ohio’s success to date includes:
• The Quality Institute of OHA has compiled an all-payer database to track rehospitalization trends throughout the state.
• 95 percent of participating hospitals have implemented at least two process changes.
• 60 percent of participating hospitals focused on reducing rehospitalization of heart failure patients, the most commonly rehospitalized patients.
“The Ohio STAAR Initiative’s groundbreaking approach has made significant progress to reduce avoidable rehospitalizions, which translates into improved patient care and health care savings for Ohioians. The OHA Board applauds the 18 STAAR hospitals and The Quality Institute of OHA for leading the nation on this effort,” said Mina Ubbing, chair of the Ohio Hospital Association Board of Trustees and president and CEO of Fairfield Medical Center.
Ohio’s pilot project ran from September 2010 to June 2011 under the direction of The Quality Institute of the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA), which is now working to expand STAAR to additional hospitals beginning this fall.
The Ohio hospitals in this initiative include:
Adena Regional Medical Center, Chillicothe
Fairfield Medical Center, Lancaster
Fisher-Titus Medical Center, Norwalk
Good Samaritan Hospital, Cincinnati
Grand Lake Health System, St. Marys
Holzer Medical Center, Gallipolis
Licking Memorial Hospital, Newark
Lima Memorial Hospital
Mary Rutan Hospital, Bellefontaine
Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton
Mount Carmel St. Ann’s, Columbus
Riverside Methodist Hospital, Columbus
St. Rita’s Medical Center, Lima
The Christ Hospital, Cincinnati
The Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus
The Toledo Hospital
University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland
OHA Preventable Readmissions Fact Sheet
The STate Action on Avoidable Rehospitalizations (STAAR) initiative aims to reduce avoidable rehospitalizations by working across organizational boundaries in four states – Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio and Washington – and by engaging payers, state and national stakeholders, patients and families, and caregivers at multiple care sites and clinical interfaces. For more information, visit: http://www.ihi.org/IHI/Programs/StrategicInitiatives/StateActiononAvoidableRehospitalizationsSTAAR.htm
The Ohio Hospital Association was established in 1915 and currently represents 166 hospitals and 16 health systems throughout Ohio. OHA is a membership-driven organization that provides proactive leadership to create an environment in which Ohio hospitals are successful in serving their communities. Visit OHA’s Web site at www.ohanet.org. Follow OHA on Twitter @OhioHospitals.
About Fairfield Medical Center
Fairfield Medical Center located in Lancaster, Ohio, was established in 1916 and has continued to grow since then to become the modern, not-for-profit healthcare system it is today. Fairfield Medical Center is a 222-bed general acute care facility dedicated to being the major referral center that serves the healthcare needs of the southeastern and central Ohio region. The Center is represented by more than 2000 employees, over 600 volunteers and Twig members and a growing team of over 250 physicians who all work together to ensure Fairfield Medical Center's continuing success in meeting the healthcare needs of our residents. To enhance upon its delivery of healthcare to the various communities it serves, Fairfield Medical Center has established affiliates and off-campus locations to allow for greater accessibility and enhanced services. For more information, please visit www.fmchealth.org.