Working Behind the Scenes to Improve Patient Safety

Tammy Sanchez

| 2 min read

Image of a patient in a hospital bed giving a thumbs up.
At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a focus on patient safety is part of our commitment to making sure our members have quality, affordable care. We might not go with you to the hospital or doctor’s office but rest assured when you present your ID card, we’ve put a lot of work in behind the scenes to keep you safe. Here are some of the ways we do that.
  • Collaborative Quality Initiatives (CQIs): Blue Cross funds nearly 20 CQIs, which encourage hospitals and physicians across the state to collect, share and analyze data that leads to process changes and improved patient care. This award-winning model is the first of its kind, nationally, and is highly regarded as an innovative approach to improving health care quality and value. Findings from these initiatives have been extensively published in peer-reviewed medical journals.
  • Prescription opioid policies: Blue Cross continually evaluates our opioid policies with an eye toward patient safety. For example, we recently created a policy to require prior authorization for some opioid prescriptions at doses that have been shown to increase the risk of overdose and even death.
  • Pharmacy oversight: Blue Cross promotes other responsible practices within our pharmacy programs to ensure patient safety. For example:
  • Our dose optimization program encourages once-per-day medication regimens instead of multiple daily doses, which can help members better adhere to taking their prescriptions as prescribed, improving their health outcomes.
  • Evaluating drug use to make sure people are taking the drugs they need in an appropriate way.
  • Making sure patients use their medications safely and alerting physicians to harmful interactions.
  • Drug recall and withdrawal notifications to members and health professionals.
  • Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) designation program: Since 2009, this model of care has transformed primary care for many of our members. PCMH-designated practices promote a team-focused approach to track follow-up care and to ensure doctors, caregivers and patients are all communicating. Patients who use the PCMH model see reduced emergency room visits and improved wellness through more preventive care.
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Photo credit: beer5020

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