3/17 Minority Health Webinar Online

The HHS Office of Minority Health will feature Director J. Nadine Gracia, MD in the first webinar in their National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care series, to be held online at noon PST on March 17, 2016, on “Fundamentals of the National CLAS Standards.”

Culturally and linguistically appropriate services – CLAS – means that services are respectful of and responsive to individual cultural health beliefs and practices, preferred languages, health literacy levels, and communication needs. Implementing CLAS helps individuals and organizations respond to demographic changes, reduce health disparities, improve quality, meet regulatory mandates, gain competitive advantage, and decrease liability.  The National CLAS Standards provide a blueprint for individuals and healthcare organizations provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services to increasingly diverse communities.

See the following links for more information:

Comments till 2/5 on QIP Measures for VA, Transplant

CMS has called for public comment on potential new QIP measures for vascular access and transplantation.  The comment period expires February 5, 2016.  For details see https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/MMS/CallforPublicComment.html .

Healthcare Quality Conference 12/2-4

The 2014 CMS Healthcare Quality Conference, titled “Moving from Vision to Reality,” will be held December 2-4, 2014 in Baltimore MD.  The Conference will focus on communication & coordination, infrastructure & data, innovation, patient & family engagement, prevention & treatment, reducing disparities, safer care, sustainability & spread, and value.  For details and registration see http://www.qualitynetonline.com/Default.aspx.

NWRN Exemplary Practice Awards

At the Network’s 2014 Annual Provider Meeting in early October, we presented five Exemplary Practice Awards to Network facilities.  The Awards were…

  • For Exemplary Practice in Patient Engagement: Presented to Puget Sound Kidney Centers.  PSKC works with former PSKC patients who provide mentoring services to CKD patients and their families.  The mentor group and each facility’s MSW conduct monthly support group meetings, quarterly educational programs, and one-on-one support.  Patient mentors at PSKC also help train new nurses and technicians.
  • For Exemplary Practice in Vascular Access: Presented to Downtown Spokane Renal Center.  Among the 40 facilities on our 2014 Long Term Catheter project, Downtown Spokane has had the biggest reduction in long term catheter rates.
  • For Exemplary Practice in Home Innovation: Presented to Northwest Kidney Centers.  NKC provided support “above and beyond” in helping advance the Network’s 2014 project to reduce racial disparity in home dialysis.  When approached about this project NKC was not only willing but enthusiastic.  When the projected slowed they wanted to know what was next and how they could help.
  • For Exemplary Practice in Healthcare Associated Infections: Presented to PSKC Smokey Point.  When facilities are assigned to a Quality Improvement project like the HAI Learning and Action Network, they are given a set of minimum expectations.  PSKC Smokey Point performed on average more than 500 times the minimum hand hygiene audits required.
  • For Exemplary Practice in Data Excellence: Presented to Northwest Kidney Centers.  NKC facilities not only completed all of the required CROWNWeb activities in 2014, but also completed it in a timely manner.  NKC also continued to meet other data requirements including safe communication of data, no security incidents, and having in place the required QIMS Security Official and End User Manager for all of their units.


Minority Donor Awareness Week 8/1-7

August 1-7, 2014 is National Minority Donor Awareness Week.  Fifty-seven percent of organ wait-list patients are minorities, while last year only 40% of transplant recipients were minorities.  http://www.organdonor.gov/awarenessweek/awarenessweek.html contains links to donor organization and events, summary statistics on minority donation, and useful resources.

CDC Survey of NHPI Disparities

HHS and CDC are launching in early 2014 a health survey dedicated to Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI), in an effort to understand, address, and if possible ameliorate the known and suspected healthcare disparities in this minority group.  NHPI patients comprise just 0.5% of the general population in this Network, but 2.6% of prevalent dialysis patients – more than five times as many NHPI patients on dialysis as there would be without a disparity.  For more information see http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p1217-pacific-islanders.html.