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Improving Glycemic Control in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Through Formal Education

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Background and Purpose: Over 30 million people in the United States (U.S.) have diabetes mellitus, which comprises about 9% of the population, and about 90% of individuals with diabetes have type 2 diabetes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC],

Background and Purpose: Over 30 million people in the United States (U.S.) have diabetes mellitus, which comprises about 9% of the population, and about 90% of individuals with diabetes have type 2 diabetes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2017). Adults with type 2 diabetes at a local internal medicine clinic were consistently having high glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) levels, demonstrated by data collected from the electronic health record (EHR), and there was no ordering process for referring patients to diabetes management education and support (DSMES) services. The purpose of this project was to improve glycemic control, demonstrated by lower HbA1C levels, and reach a diabetes education attendance rate of 62.5% at an internal medicine clinic in Chandler, Arizona.

Methods: An electronic health record (EHR) template was created and brief staff training was completed to connect patients with diabetes in the community to a local formal diabetes education program. HbA1C levels were measured before and three months after adults with education program. HbA1C levels were measured before and three months after adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) received physicians’ orders for a DSMES program, and rates of attendance to the program were calculated. Data was collected through the EHR and through feedback from the DSMES program. Descriptive statistics were used in data analysis.

Outcomes: The participants’ results did not demonstrate significant differences in pre-referral and post-referral HbA1C results after they were ordered DSMES services (p = .506). The proportion of education attendance (30%) was lower than the project goal of 62.5%, but increased from the clinic baseline.

Conclusions: EHR template implementation for referral to DSMES may increase rates of formal diabetes education and improve glycemic control. Larger sample sizes, longer project periods, alternative methods of communication, and increased follow-up of participants may be required to produce significant results.

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Date Created
2020-04-30

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Implementation of Adolescent Depression Care Guidelines into the Electronic Health Record at a Rural Pediatric Primary Care Clinic

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Background: Healthcare providers are encouraged to prepare their practice to effectively manage the care of mild to moderate adolescent depression. Cost-effective screening, diagnostic, and newly developed pediatric primary care depression management guidelines have been established. To integrate guidelines into practice,

Background: Healthcare providers are encouraged to prepare their practice to effectively manage the care of mild to moderate adolescent depression. Cost-effective screening, diagnostic, and newly developed pediatric primary care depression management guidelines have been established. To integrate guidelines into practice, primary care providers (PCPs) must document effectively to ensure a complete treatment plan is in place in the patient’s electronic health record (EHR).

Intervention: Elements from a flowsheet were implemented into the EHR to promote thorough assessment and documentation of care delivered to adolescents with depression.

Methods: An initial chart review was completed on patients diagnosed with depression. An updated depression template was implemented within the EHR for six weeks. A follow-up chart review was completed post-intervention to determine if documentation of elements from the adolescent depression guidelines improved after the EHR update. Pre-intervention and post- intervention surveys were delivered to PCP’s to understand their perspective on adolescent depression management.

Outcomes: The chart review revealed that baseline PHQ-9 screenings were documented in 91% (n=43) of the charts reviewed in the pre-intervention timeframe. Only 78% (n=7) of the charts reviewed during post-intervention included PHQ-9 screenings. Early intervention treatment options documented in the pre-intervention timeframe included education 100% (n=47), medication prescriptions 53% (n=25), and psychotherapy referrals 18% (n=18). During post- intervention, education 100% (n=9), medication prescriptions 78% (7), and psychotherapy referrals 22% (n=7) were documented by the PCPs.

Recommendation: The quality improvement project focused heavily on documentation completed over a one year pre-intervention timeframe compared to a six-week post-intervention timeframe. Further evaluation and chart review over the next year will provide a more adequate comparison of documentation within primary care practice.

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Date Created
2020-05-01

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Enhanced Primary Care Electronic Medical Record Education to Improve the Use of Patient Portals

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Background: Health information technology (HIT) refers to the electronic health care systems organizations used to store, share and analyze healthcare information. A central component of the HIT infrastructure is an electronic health record (EMR) and although HIT has been shown

Background: Health information technology (HIT) refers to the electronic health care systems organizations used to store, share and analyze healthcare information. A central component of the HIT infrastructure is an electronic health record (EMR) and although HIT has been shown to increase enthusiasm for patient care, decrease healthcare costs and improve patient outcomes overall utilization in the United States (US) remains low.

Methods: At an urban primary care pediatric office located in the southwestern US, an educational quality improvement project for healthcare practice providers and front office staff was conducted to increase the utilization of the existing EMR-linked patient portal. The healthcare providers were asked to complete a pre- and post- survey evaluation of their knowledge and usage of the patient portal. Provider and patient portal data usage was collected over a five-month period, September 2019 to January 2020.

Results: Data was analyzed using the Intellectus Statistics softwareTM. Significant results were found at the conclusion of the project in the number of active patient portal users, web-enabled, portal logins, labs published/viewed, messages sent, appointment reminders and Santovia utilization. At the end of the project no significance was found with messages received by the healthcare providers or staff through the patient portal. Survey results found significant differences between pre- and post- portal usage. No significance was found on providers’ knowledge on how to web-enable patients. Providers’ also demonstrated no significant change in their perceptions of the benefit in utilizing the portal in patient care after the educational intervention. Survey results allowed for additional analysis of commonly utilized portal functionalities, disease or health topics utilized in Santovia, and suggestions on how to make the use of the patient portal easier for providers.

Implications for Health Care Providers: This quality improvement project found that implementation an EMR-linked patient portal requires a comprehensive practice approach with structured education sessions. Including all employees can improve patient portal utilization. This educational project resulted in significant increases in most portal functionalities within 5 months. Further practice change evaluations are needed to evaluate how to improve patient portal utilization with a larger group of participants in a variety of outpatient settings.

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2020-05-01

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Screening for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Behavioral Health

Description

Background: Non-Veteran Affair (VA) mental health care facilities are admitting increased numbers of military affiliated members due to recent changes, allowing veterans to outsource healthcare at civilian treatment centers. The VA reports less than 9 million veterans enrolled in VA

Background: Non-Veteran Affair (VA) mental health care facilities are admitting increased numbers of military affiliated members due to recent changes, allowing veterans to outsource healthcare at civilian treatment centers. The VA reports less than 9 million veterans enrolled in VA services, leaving over 50% seeking treatment from civilian providers. Given the high prevalence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the military population, it is imperative to implement a valid and reliable screening tool at primary care facilities to ensure timely and accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Method: This project aimed to provide an evidence-based education for intake nurses to understand prevalence of PTSD and to use a screening tool Primary Care PTSD for DSM-5 (PC-PTSD-5) in a non-VA behavioral health facility.

Setting: The project site was a civilian behavioral health facility located in West Phoenix Metropolitan area. The behavioral health facility serves mental health and substance abuse needs. Project implementation focused on the intake department.

Measures: Sociodemographic data, PTSD diagnosis criteria, prevalence and PC-PTDSD-5 screening tool knowledge collected from pre and posttest evaluation. Patients’ charts for those admitted 6-week before and 6-week after the education to calculate numbers of screening tools completed by nurses at intake assessment.

Data analysis: Descriptive statistics was used to describe the sample and key measures; the Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test was used to examine differences between pre-test and post-test scores. Cohen’s effect size was used to estimate clinical significance.

Results: A total of 23 intake nurses (87.0% female, 65.2% 20-39 years old, 52.2% Caucasian, 95.6% reported having 0-10 years of experience, 56.5% completed Associate’s degree) received the education. For PTSD-related knowledge, the pre-test score (Mdn = 6.00) was significantly lower than the post-test score (Mdn = 10.00; Z= -4.23, p < .001), suggesting an increase of PTSD knowledge among nurses after the education. Regarding the diagnosis, the percentage of patients who were diagnosed with PTSD increased from (0.02% to 20% after the education).

Discussion: An evidence-based education aimed at enhancing intake nurses’ knowledge, confidence and skills implementing a brief and no-cost PTSD screening tool showed positive results, including an increase of PTSD diagnosis. The implementation of this screening tool in a civilian primary mental health care facility was feasible and helped patients connect to PTSD treatment in a timely fashion. Continued use of paper version of screening tool will be maintained at facility as an intermediary solution until final approval through parent company is received to implement into electronic medical records.

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Date Created
2020-05-06

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Being Proactive in Geriatric Advance Care Planning

Description

Disease burden is higher in the United States than in comparable countries. The Patient Self Determination Act of 1990 requires healthcare facilities to provide Advance Care Planning (ACP) information to all Medicare patients. The healthcare staffs’ (n=7) commitment to 3-days

Disease burden is higher in the United States than in comparable countries. The Patient Self Determination Act of 1990 requires healthcare facilities to provide Advance Care Planning (ACP) information to all Medicare patients. The healthcare staffs’ (n=7) commitment to 3-days of ACP training increase ACP rates in the primary care setting. The Medicare Incentive Program is the platform for this initiative. This quantitative project used a valid and reliable pre and posttest design that consisted of 27 items on a Likert-scale. A 3.5-month chart audit (n=91) was conducted to assess the completion rate. Descriptive statistics was used to describe the demographic data.

The results of the two-tailed Wilcoxon signed rank test were significant based on an alpha value of 0.05, V = 0.00, z = -2.37, p = .018. There was a significant increase in the post-readiness to change average scores. A Mann Whitney test was used to analyze the statistically significant difference between the averages in two ACP types and electronic health record documentation (EHR). Staff did not always code (Mdn = 0.00) but they documented in the EHR (Mdn =1.00; 512.00, p = 0.003). ACP discussion was performed 63% of the time during Annual Wellness Visits (AWV), and there was a 49% increase in the EHR documentation. Trained staff are key stakeholders in guiding ACP conversations. They understand the barriers, impact, and consequences related to the lack of advance directives.

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2020-04-30

Contento Recycling: The Evolution of Sustainability

Description

While the term sustainability is commonly used in 2019, in 1950, it was sparsely uttered. To understand how Contento Recycling LLC became Central New York’s leader in sustainable development, you must go back to Gerald Contento Sr, and the year

While the term sustainability is commonly used in 2019, in 1950, it was sparsely uttered. To understand how Contento Recycling LLC became Central New York’s leader in sustainable development, you must go back to Gerald Contento Sr, and the year 1950. This was the year my grandfather started our family’s vehicle dismantling and scrap metal recycling business. Over the course of the next 70 years, Contento’s and now, Contento Recycling, has evolved into a leader in recycling and environmental work in Central New York. To see how I created a sustainable business enterprise, you must analyze my family’s past. My family’s history provides a roadmap to a more sustainable future.
When I established Contento Recycling LLC in 2017, it was poised to be Central New York’s first ever construction and demolition debris recycling business. I was tasked with the challenge that many sustainability professionals are tasked with and that was to show the community why they should stop taking their construction debris to the landfill, and instead bring it to my recycling center for processing, recycling, and landfill diversion. Over the last several years I applied for state grant funding, spread awareness about my new business, designed and constructed a material recovery facility, outfitted equipment, and trained staff. I now have a facility that accepts about 40 tons of mixed C&D debris per day, and diverts about 20% of that from the landfill.
On a more personal level, I learned a tremendous amount about dealing with change management. I’ve learned a lot about business development, and some keys to success when building a business. I’ve figured out how to help my employees and customers grow. I’ve learned to be more patient and flexible with my business endeavors. I have a much clearer vision of what I want for my business and for myself. I have developed a rousing optimism on the impact that my business, and myself can have on the sustainable development of Central New York. I will be a leader in environmental stewardship and partner with other people and organizations who want to work towards a more sustainable future.

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2019-05-15

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Advanced Directives in Rural Primary Care

Description

Abstract: Abstract
Completion of advance directives (AD) prevent unwanted care. It is clear that systematic integration of AD documentation in primary care practices can lead to less intrusion of patient autonomy, and remove a source or moral injury and

Abstract: Abstract
Completion of advance directives (AD) prevent unwanted care. It is clear that systematic integration of AD documentation in primary care practices can lead to less intrusion of patient autonomy, and remove a source or moral injury and ethical ambiguity for providers, family and caregivers. The purpose of this project was to examine the effect of an evidence-based AD completion activity on AD completion rates in a rural, primary-care clinic. The theory of self-determination (SDT) guided the project as SDT describes why and how persons are motivated to engage in acts of self-determination. Recruitment was self-selective as all clients aged 18 years or older had access and opportunity to available PREPARE.org materials to complete a state specific AD in English or Spanish on site. Each patient of the clinic signed the site-specific consent form authorizing release of information for study use. Project data was collected via chart audits using a pre/post intervention design. Results indicate that passively providing AD materials, even in a multiple languages and formats is not enough to engage self-motivation to complete an AD. This attempt to improve AD completion in primary care reflects the larger body of knowledge; interpersonal communication is needed to stimulate relatedness and improved competence, the two precursors of acts of self-determination, as outlined by SDT.

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2021-04-25

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Pediatric Weight Management: Provider Needs Assessment to Improve Care for Military Dependents

Description

Background/Purpose: The prevalence of overweight and obesity in the pediatric population is a global epidemic. Rapid weight gain in early childhood exacerbates risk factors for obesity, chronic disease in adulthood, and disqualifies 31% of American youth from serving in the

Background/Purpose: The prevalence of overweight and obesity in the pediatric population is a global epidemic. Rapid weight gain in early childhood exacerbates risk factors for obesity, chronic disease in adulthood, and disqualifies 31% of American youth from serving in the Armed Forces. Although the pediatric dependents weight crisis reflects the national dilemma, there are inconsistencies in provider knowledge, limited access to evidence-based, weight management intervention, and treatment options. This paper will assess provider needs, identify opportunity to improve practice, and process used in weight management in the clinic.
Method: Eight military and four civilian pediatric and family practice providers completed a 16-item needs assessment survey. The survey was distributed via email using an online survey tool, and a printed version was provided to those who had not completed it online. Data was collected over 8 weeks and a descriptive analysis of content was done using the Intellectus software.
Results: Although the response rate was 88.9%, it was lower than anticipated due to COVID-19 related military deployments. Descriptive data were obtained on a variety of provider needs and practices. Results provided valuable information on current attitudes of providers. Providers demonstrated a significant need for a multidisciplinary support team including a dietician and more time dedicated to weight management at office visits. At least 50% of providers have had motivational interviewing training and report that they apply these techniques as part of an intervention in patient’s weight management care.
Implication: Data supports overweight and obesity care practice changes in the clinic. Areas identified by providers included the need for further training and clinic management support including the availability of a pediatric dietician added to the healthcare team.

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2021-04-27

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Teach-Back Method; Improvement of Patient Comprehension of Nuss Procedure

Description

Successful management of pediatric procedures is challenging. Many procedures have a detailed list of pre-procedural requirements and post-procedural pain control regimens. Patients and families often get lost in the many requirements needed before scheduling the procedure and often delay intervention.

Successful management of pediatric procedures is challenging. Many procedures have a detailed list of pre-procedural requirements and post-procedural pain control regimens. Patients and families often get lost in the many requirements needed before scheduling the procedure and often delay intervention. This delay can cost both the families and facility time and money but often leave the patient needlessly suffering. Inadequate pain control results in emergency room (ER) visits or hospital admissions for acute postoperative pain management. The opioid epidemic has significantly impacted postoperative opioid prescriptions at discharge. The limited prescriptions available after discharge, paired with inadequate understanding and support of discharge postoperative instructions by the family, result in increased acute postoperative pain management admissions. Postoperative pain is the leading cause of hospital readmissions within 48 hours of discharge. These ER visits are typically for issues that are easily addressed at home. Teach-back methods have shown to be the cornerstone of education, resulting in knowledge gained and increased pain regimen adherence. A literature review exploring current evidence regarding postoperative pain control and interventions coupled with teach-back was conducted to address this concern, and an evidenced-based intervention is proposed.

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Date Created
2021-04-20

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Community Services: Access to Health Care

Description

Primary health care clinics are essential first defenders determined to confront the upsurge in health-related leading causes of death in the United States. Unfortunately, the underserved or uninsured community continues to struggle to access these vital health care services. Consequently,

Primary health care clinics are essential first defenders determined to confront the upsurge in health-related leading causes of death in the United States. Unfortunately, the underserved or uninsured community continues to struggle to access these vital health care services. Consequently, this vulnerable population seeks venues such as community services events to obtain these unmet primary care services. Community services events effectively disseminate health-related material and provide access to vital medical services. Currently, community services strive to bridge the gap between underserved individuals and primary care clinics by providing participants referrals for low-fee or free clinics to establish ongoing care. A lack of data exists on whether these events sufficiently impact the participants to motivate them to follow-up with a health care clinic. A critical appraisal of evidence showed that follow-up adherence rates are remarkably improved by directly referring participants to a primary clinic during a community services event. This paper explores the effect on health outcomes and health disparities when establishing connections between community services participants and ongoing healthcare services.

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2021-04-22