Wallingford, CT, January 2012………A two-year initiative to create “communities of care” for heart failure patients to reduce hospital re-admissions has garnered a Health Care Hero award from the Hartford Business Journal for Qualidigm, the Rocky Hill-based health care consultant. Masonicare Home Health & Hospice was an active participant in the award-winning program.
The initiative involved 150 various health care providers from across the state, organized into 12 closely-knit “communities of care.” Each “community” consisted of a hospital, nursing home, home care provider and physicians whose goal was to work closely together before, during and after hospitalization to reduce readmissions for patients with congestive heart failure. Masonicare participated in 6 of the 12 communities: those involving Hartford Hospital, Norwalk Hospital, Griffin Hospital, Middlesex Hospital, St. Francis Hospital and Windham Hospital.
“Hospitalizations for heart failure are pervasive and costly, needlessly affecting patients’ life quality and burdening our health care delivery system,” said Anne Elwell, Qualidigm’s vice president for community relations.
The collaboration focused on communication and coordination of care among the health care providers and across care settings to ensure that hospitalized heart failure patients experienced a smooth, safe transition as they navigated through the health care continuum. This included improving patient and family engagement, improved communication among health care providers, accurate medication record-keeping, and close follow-up care after a patient’s discharge from the hospital.
“Masonicare Home Health & Hospice is proud to have been a participant in the program. The improvements to medical and communications processes developed by Qualidigm’s Communities of Care can also be used to prevent readmissions for patients with other chronic conditions,” said Mary Allegra, vice president of strategic clinical programs for Masonicare Home Health. “As an organization, Masonicare has achieved improved outcomes for many of the heart patients cared for throughout our continuum. These improved processes have led to better outcomes, a greatly reduced rate of hospital admissions, and happier patients and families,” she added.
In tandem with the Communities of Care initiative, Qualidigm produced three short Heart Talk videos. The first two are for health care professionals and assistants. The third one is for patients, families and caregivers. It provides easy-to-understand information about heart failure and how to prevent avoidable hospital readmissions. This video is available free through YouTube and at http://www.qualidigm.org/.
A nationally recognized consulting and research company, Qualidigm is the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for Connecticut, and is also a designated Patient Safety Organization by the State of Connecticut. Qualidigm’s mission is to continually advance improvement in the quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of healthcare.
Wallingford-based Masonicare is Connecticut’s leading not-for-profit provider of healthcare and retirement living for seniors. In additional to Masonicare Home Health & Hospice, Masonicare’s affiliates include Masonicare Partners Home Health & Hospice, Masonicare Health Center and Masonicare at Ashlar Village in Wallingford, Masonicare at Newtown, and The Masonic Charity Foundation of Connecticut.
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Photo – (L) Masonicare Home Health & Hospice’s Mary Allegra, vice president of strategic clinical programs and Susan Adams (R), regional vice president and administrator, with their Health Care Hero Award Plaque
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