Massachusetts

Innovations

Health Plan–Financed, Nurse-Led Care Coordination Improves Quality of Care and Reduces Costs for Latinos With Chronic Illnesses and Disabilities 04/21/08

A community-based primary care clinic uses nurses to provide culturally competent care coordination to Latino patients with chronic illnesses and disabilities, leading to greater provision of recommended care, lower health care costs, and enhanced self-management capabilities.

Fall Prevention Program Emphasizes Proactive Identification and Addressing of Risk Factors, Leading to Fewer Falls and Fall-Related Injuries Among Seniors Receiving Home Care 04/15/08

A fall prevention program for seniors who receive home care uses a 12-element assessment tool to identify risk factors for falls and then develops specific interventions designed to reduce these risks; ongoing monitoring of medications and periodic reassessments help to support the effort.

Enhancements to Interpreter Program Lead to Better Productivity for Interpreters, More Depression Screening, and Potential Reduction in Readmissions for Non–English-Speaking Patients 03/24/08

Cambridge Health Alliance enhanced its round-the-clock interpreter services by tracking key indicators that gauge the quality of these services; analyses of these data led to significant improvements in the program's telephone-based services and staff efficiency and the decision to implement depression screening in patients with limited English proficiency.

Practice-Based Teams of Clinicians and Development Experts Enhance Access to Care and Improve Parenting Skills and Knowledge Among Children and Their Families 02/25/08

Healthy Steps for Young Children (Healthy Steps) is a national initiative that encourages use of clinician-childhood development expert teams in physician offices to promote the use of timely preventive care; parent education and support; and other interventions to address the physical, emotional, and intellectual development of children from birth to age 3.

Community-Wide Collaboration Provides School-Based Mental Health Services to Students and Families in Impoverished, High-Crime, Urban Neighborhoods 02/25/08

A child mental health agency, the Boston Public Schools, and several other urban community service agencies have joined together to provide school-based mental health and other support services to students and their families living in neighborhoods plagued by poverty and crime.

Comprehensive School-Based Program Enhances Access to Oral Health Education, Prevention, and Treatment Services for Low-Income Children 02/20/08

The Boston University/Chelsea Partnership Dental Program is a city-wide, school-based program designed to increase access to dental services for low-income children by providing oral health education, dental screening and referrals, fluoride varnish applications, dental sealants, examinations, x-rays, cleanings, and restorations.

Standardized Processes Improve Adherence to Evidence-Based Protocols, Significantly Reducing Common Surgery-Related Complications 02/20/08

A hospital standardized and automated evidence-based protocols and processes, leading to a significant reduction in surgical site infections, postoperative myocardial infarction, and postoperative deep vein thrombosis.

Toolkit-Supported Safety Rounds With Staff and Patients Enhance Reporting of Medical Errors and Near Misses 02/20/08

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute uses safety rounds with staff and patients, supported by a toolkit, to promote a culture of safety and reduce medical errors by proactively identifying and addressing potential safety problems.

AIDS Care Project Makes Acupuncture Treatment Accessible to People Living With HIV/AIDS 02/19/08

The AIDS Care Project increases access to free and low-cost acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and shiatsu for underinsured Boston-area residents with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and other conditions.

Peer Coaching Combined With Nurse Outreach Improves Adherence to Medical Recommendations Among Elderly Cardiac Patients Who Live Alone Following Discharge 02/12/08

A nurse-guided, patient-centered approach combines ongoing peer support from a trained elder with home visits and followup phone calls from an advanced practice nurse for unpartnered, elderly patients who are discharged from the hospital after a heart attack or bypass surgery. The program is intended to encourage compliance with medication regimens and recommended lifestyle changes, with the goal of reducing hospital readmissions. A 247-patient randomized controlled trial found that the program improved adherence to medical recommendations and reduced hospitalizations due to cardiac-related complications but failed to reduce overall hospital readmissions.

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