An Inside Look at the Michigan Emergency Department Improvement Collaborative

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan recently announced the launch of a new program in partnership with University of Michigan’s Health System called the Michigan Emergency Department Improvement Collaborative (MEDIC).

Here to explain how this newly implemented system will improve the quality of care for people across Michigan is Keith Kocher, MD, an assistant professor in the University of Michigan Medical School’s department of emergency medicine and program director of MEDIC.

What exactly is MEDIC?
“It’s a collaboration among hospital emergency departments across the state to improve the quality of care provided there.  Led by emergency physicians, the initiative will at first include about 10 hospital emergency departments with plans to grow these numbers as the project further develops. We will collect data from each site and measure the performance of care in those emergency departments so we can come up with practical ways to improve it. The leadership team of MEDIC is housed at the University of Michigan and is the coordinating center for the project.”

Why is this so important?
“Before MEDIC, emergency departments across Michigan were generally all working in isolation—that makes it tough to see trends and figure out improvements. This is a new way of sharing and learning from data and patients’ experiences across hospitals in Michigan. It’s so important to be sure we’re listening to feedback on how well we take care of patients to create the best care possible—particularly in emergency department settings.”

How is this going to benefit Michiganders?
“We are developing relationships with emergency physicians all across Michigan and will hold regular project-wide meetings. This helps us review how care is delivered and develop strategies that will actually change the way we care for patients in an emergency. In these meetings we will talk about what is working for patients so that other EDs can implement those best practices. This will ultimately benefit Michiganders who come into an emergency department.”

How long will it take for the everyday person to notice results?
“This is a big integrated project encompassing the full spectrum of care in emergency departments—from pediatric to adult—so it can’t happen overnight. The first step will be to collect data and begin to measure our performance before we can begin to change practice. That said, we hope to see improvements in the quality of emergency care in the state of Michigan in about two years.”

Who is supporting MEDIC?
“Support is provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network as part of the Value Partnerships program. This is the first of Blue Cross Blue Shield’s projects to include care for children, and we’re pleased that they are providing support in such a valuable way.”

 

The Michigan Emergency Department Improvement Collaborative is one of the programs under Value Partnerships, a series of initiatives among physicians, hospitals and the Michigan Blues, aimed at improving quality and safety in medical care.

For more ways Blue Cross Blue Shield is making a difference in the healthcare of Michiganders, read these other blogs:

Photo credit: COD Newsroom

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