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A Publication of WTVP

Quality Quest for Health, co-sponsored by Caterpillar, Inc. and OSF Healthcare System, is focused on transforming healthcare quality in central Illinois. Our mission is to achieve exceptional patient service and outcomes. Our vision is to be the region with the healthiest people and the highest-value healthcare. Over the past year, we have achieved important milestones on our quest towards these ambitious goals. Together, we are building a foundation for excellence. What follows are highlights of our 2007 accomplishments.

An excellent healthcare system ensures patients’ care that is based on the best and most current scientific advances. In an excellent healthcare system, care does not vary from doctor to doctor or office to office. Thanks to the work of the Evidence-Based Care Standards Six Sigma team, our region now has care standards based on the best and most current science. Twenty healthcare leaders representing twelve clinical disciplines, including nursing and social services, and seven different practices, reviewed all available guideline sets. The team, using a sophisticated evaluation and ranking process, identified the best set of healthcare guidelines, which Quality Quest for Health will promote throughout our work. The selected guidelines are available publicly at www.ICSI.org.

An excellent healthcare system reports its results publicly and promotes a culture of accountability. The Colonoscopy Quality Measurement Six Sigma team consisting of physicians in gastroenterology, surgery and pathology agreed to standards for care processes and to collect and report measures of colonoscopy quality. Quality Quest for Health anticipates providing comparative results to physicians and consumers based on the quality measurement standards developed by the team.

An excellent healthcare system practices good stewardship by spending healthcare dollars wisely. Unhelpful treatments are avoided, treatments that have proven effective are available to those who need them and patient preferences guide decisions with multiple options. In 2007, the Affordable Medications Six Sigma team worked hard to ensure better stewardship of healthcare resources. Following initial success increasing the use of newly-available generic statins (which treat high cholesterol), the team broadened their focus to improving overall medication affordability. Analysis of medical claims information demonstrated wide differences in the use of generic medications between practices, so the team developed a report comparing generic use rates for primary care, pediatric, cardiology, orthopedics, ENT and behavioral health practices. The first quarterly report is now available to physicians. Quality Quest for Health anticipates making the report available to consumers in the second half of 2008.

In 2008, Quality Quest for Health Six Sigma teams will focus on helping people make healthier lifestyle choices; increasing preventive care, such as screening for cancer, high blood pressure and high cholesterol; and helping people decrease the preventable complications of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Our first year has been exciting and rewarding. In 2007, Quality Quest for Health was recognized by the United States Department of Health and Human Services as a Community Leader organization. Over 150 people currently serve on Six Sigma teams. We are co-sponsoring a continuing medical educational forum with the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria on March 12th featuring Dr. Joseph Scherger, a nationally recognized leader. Quality Quest for Health collaborates with the Heartland Healthcare Coalition, Bradley University’s Institute for Principled Leadership in Public Service, the Iowa Foundation for Medical Care/Illinois Foundation for Quality Health Care and the Peoria County Department of Health.

We are supported by two outstanding organizations which jointly created Quality Quest for Health, simply believing, “We can do better.” Our region has talented, committed physicians and nurses. We look forward to 2008 with enthusiasm and humility. Our goals are ambitious. Our patients, our families and our friends deserve no less. IBI

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