Online Program

Establishing learning collaboratives to facilitate quality improvement: Insights from a learning community to reduce non-urgent use of emergency services

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 10:30 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

Shannon Reefer, RN, MPH, Behavioral Health Group, Westat, Pittsburgh, PA
Tina Marshall, Ph.D., Westat, Inc., Rockville, MD
A promising approach to translating evidence-based strategies into community settings is to establish learning collaboratives. Accordingly, the Health Care Innovations Exchange, sponsored by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, established the Reducing Non-Urgent Emergency Services Learning Community (ESLC).

Many patients seek treatment at the emergency department for non-urgent or chronic conditions that are best cared for in other settings. The most common diagnoses for high utilizers are behavioral health conditions (Jiang, et. al., 2014). This results in unnecessarily high costs of care and has significant consequences for both patients and the health care system. Patients may receive fragmented care and inadequate management of underlying medical, behavioral, and psychosocial needs, while emergency services are overburdened and struggling with allocating limited resources. To address this issue, the ESLC, located in the Detroit metropolitan area, adapted a cluster of evidence-based practices for the local context to identify individuals who frequently misuse emergency services and to connect them to more appropriate outpatient care settings. The ESLC consisted of private and public organizations in the community that deliver emergency medical services, behavioral and primary health care, and support services. Participants received technical assistance and support from nationally recognized experts.

This presentation will share the theoretical framework used to develop the learning community, as well as lessons learned from using the ESLC to implement this quality improvement initiative in the Detroit community.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the value of learning communities for quality improvement initiatives. Describe the main components of the quality improvement initiative implemented in the Detroit community. Discuss the lessons learned from this learning community.

Keyword(s): Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration, Emergency Medical Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been emergency department nurse and a key contributor to a learning collaborative that brought together multiple community stakeholders in the Detroit community to address non-urgent use of emergency services, particularly among patients with mental and behavioral health issues. I have worked on multiple federal contracts focused on health care quality improvement in a variety of settings.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.