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National Summit Aims to Expand Collaborative Quality Initiative Model to Other States

Surgeons from California, Washington, South Carolina – even from the United Kingdom – traveled to Northern Michigan in early October to learn about Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Collaborative Quality Initiative model. Roughly 75 surgeons and health professionals gathered at an inaugural summit to share information and experiences, and inspire similar initiatives in other states.

Led and funded by the Center of Excellence for Collaborative Quality Improvement, an initiative that’s part of the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative CQI, this summit sought to cultivate partnerships across regions. At the one-day summit, participants:

  • Learned about the Michigan CQI model
  • Heard “lessons learned” from other statewide, regional or targeted quality collaboratives — many of them modeled after Michigan’s CQI program
  • Networked with quality improvement leaders from across the country
  • Accessed toolkits and resources for knowledge-sharing and building best practices

“It was great to see so many thought leaders from across the country who want to replicate the CQI program in their own state,” said Tom Leyden, director of Value Partnerships with Blue Cross. “It was a unique opportunity for leaders from across the country to meet and share ideas.”

At the summit, surgeons and clinicians from Michigan, South Carolina, Illinois, Wisconsin and Washington shared information on the structure, successes and challenges of their regional quality initiatives. But much of the focus was on Michigan.

“Michigan is a leader in surgical quality improvement,” said Greta Krapohl, Ph.D., R.N., project manager with MSQC. “It was clear that we are the envy of the nation in regard to the strong partnership between the collaboratives and Blue Cross.”

Blue Cross currently supports 17 CQIs, focusing on improving quality and safety for a variety of medical and surgical procedures and conditions. The CQI model has been proven to accelerate translation and implementation of surgical quality improvement. Discoveries that are generated from Michigan CQIs are routinely disseminated nationally through peer-reviewed literature.

“The CQIs here are helping to change and improve surgical and medical practice across the U.S.,” said Leyden. “Ultimately, Blue Cross members nationwide benefit from these findings that reduce complications and mortality.”

MSQC awarded grant

The MSQC, one of the oldest and most prolific CQIs, recently was awarded a pilot grant from the Department of Learning Health Sciences and the University of Michigan Office of Research. The grant supports the MSQC’s efforts to scale the Michigan CQI model to a broader national platform, with a goal of creating a powerful system for improving surgical outcomes.

The CECQI summit was part of this effort to implement Michigan’s CQI model across the nation. And it has certainly generated interest, with comments from attendees such as these:

“We should continue this discussion and increase the collaboration between CQI programs.”

“I would like to see this meeting occur annually or even semi-annually. Bringing everyone together and sharing experiences is most valuable.”

For more on the MSQC, click here.

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