OKLAHOMA CITY (June 18, 2015) – OFMQ has been approved to extend its nursing home projects with Oklahoma providers for another two years. For the past eight months, OFMQ has been working closely with nursing homes on two separate projects funded by the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH).
Due to intensive on-site work with the homes and through regionally-based educational offerings, OFMQ has seen results already. Gregg Koehn, CEO at OFMQ, states, “We have worked with nursing homes in Oklahoma for more than 13 years and have had a long-standing relationship with OSDH through this work. We look forward to our ongoing collaboration to improve care for residents in our nursing homes.”
The first project will provide technical assistance, tools and resources for homes that need to improve their performance in publically-reported quality measures. OFMQ is currently working with homes on improving resident self-reported pain and falls with major injury, and will expand to working to decreasing the incidence of urinary tract infections and pressure ulcers.
“The four quality measures we are working on all take time for improvements to be seen, and, with the expansion of our current work into the next two years, says Joe Williams, Manager of Quality Improvement Projects at OFMQ, “We will be able to have an even greater impact with these homes. We are looking forward to sustaining and spreading improvements already experienced, as well as tackling new improvement opportunities.”
The second project will be conducted in collaboration with the Oklahoma University College of Pharmacy (OUCOP) and OFMQ’s Health Information Technology (HIT) Services Center. The project, which will focus on Medication Safety in Long-Term Care, compares medication management processes in nursing homes with Electronic Health Records (EHRs) compared to facilities that do not fully utilize EHRs for medication therapy administration.
In addition, the project also will provide the opportunity for the clinical pharmacy team to make recommendations to medication prescribers to optimize therapy and potentially reduce risk to frail elders living in the facilities. The team has focused their efforts to improve systems of medication use including meaningful application of EHR processes related to medication safety practices, applying knowledge related to the physiologic changes that occur with aging, and improving the process and using best-practices for early screening all medications used in the elderly. Continuing the project through an additional two years will allow OFMQ and OUCOP to expand the number of facilities enrolled in the project and facilitate the transition to implementing and/or expanding use of existing EHRs to better manage the medication process, especially during transitions in care.
In just the first eight months of the project, more than 750 comprehensive medication assessments have been completed, and the team has noted a nearly 32 percent improvement in the rate of the adoption and use of a guideline-based medication screening tool.
Keith Swanson, PharmD., CGP, Associate Professor at the OUCOP, claims, “The initial phase of this project was enlightening as we documented patterns of medication use and the health information systems utilized to care for these frail elders. We look forward to expanding our efforts to help reduce the risk of medication misadventures to elders living in Oklahoma.”