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    Healthcare Plan Information

    Capital Health Plan Patient Safety Initiatives

    Patient safety activities are an integral part of the overall quality improvement program at Capital Health Plan (CHP). The health plan has maintained a focus on patient safety for many years. CHP is committed to a partnership with the leading hospital provider in the Tallahassee area (Tallahassee Memorial Hospital) to improve patient safety across the entire community.

    Capital Health Plan and Tallahassee Memorial Hospital (TMH) continue to work together as part of a nationwide effort that is aimed at redesigning systems of care to show dramatic improvements in health outcomes and patient safety. This effort is called Pursuing Perfection: Raising the Bar for Health Care Performance and is a $20.9 million grant program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and operated by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The partnership of TMH, CHP and several other local health providers are one of seven healthcare systems nationally that are pursuing perfection in the quality of healthcare through participation in the grant program. Medication safety is a key initiative of the Pursuing Perfection program. A medication safety team has been in place for that past year, and is led by a pharmacist, and consists of a diverse group of clinical, administrative and CHP quality improvement staff. This team works continuously to analyze and redesign medication systems, and implement improvements that will improve safety across both the outpatient and hospital settings. Initiatives that have resulted from this collaborative effort have included the following:

    • The health plan and hospital both monitor and analyze the rate and type of adverse drug events that patients experience using a standardized data collection tool developed by the Institute of Healthcare Improvement. These measurement efforts have resulted in initiatives targeted at decreasing adverse drug events from pain medications, and blood thinning drugs such as Heparin and Coumadin.
    • Patients discharged from the hospital to the care of their primary care physician (PCP) have had their medications reviewed to make sure that they are safely taking the correct prescriptions that have been ordered for them. Their medications are reviewed and adjusted if necessary upon admission and discharge from the hospital to make sure that patients are discharged to outpatient care with the correct and safe combination of medications.
    • TMH is in the process of implementing a computerized physician order entry system that will eliminate current manual medication ordering systems. CHP physicians will order inpatient medications electronically, and all orders will be automatically checked for proper dosage and potential drug interactions.
    • CHP and TMH have agreed upon common evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, and are focusing efforts to standardize and improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients with acute and chronic coronary disease, stroke and diabetes across both the outpatient and hospital settings. CHP and TMH are collaborating to develop information systems and medical records that are accessible for healthcare providers caring for patients throughout both the outpatient and inpatient settings.

    In addition to CHP's commitment to improving safety across the entire Tallahassee community, the health plan also works to continuously improve safety specifically for CHP members. CHP offers the following programs and activities to assure that safe and effective care is provided for members:

    • CHP has developed and promotes the use of fourteen evidence-based clinical practice guidelines among practicing physicians in the network.
    • CHP offers disease management programs for members with coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, asthma, depression and end-stage renal disease. The health plan works to support the needs of members with these conditions through education and easy access to routine care such as annual lab tests, and diabetic eye and foot exams. CHP also helps PCPs provide the best care for these members by providing information about test results, and care that is due to be provided.
    • CHP has implemented a completely new patient care model for members with serious chronic illnesses. CHP's Center for Chronic Care provides an intensely coordinated, team approach to the medical care of these members. A physician, nurse, pharmacist, dietician and health educator all work together to coordinate safe and effective care that meets the special needs of members with chronic illnesses.
    • CHP provides education about patient safety for members and physicians on an ongoing basis through newsletters and a website. The health plan provides a quarterly report for PCPs that summarizes their medication prescribing practices, and compares their results with other PCPs in the CHP network. A quarterly report is also sent to PCPs that notifies them of all prescriptions that have been ordered for their patients by specialists. When medication recalls or safety warnings are issued, CHP notifies physicians and members that are potentially affected by the warning.
    • CHP staff routinely review medical records to identify potential quality of care issues, adverse drug events, and opportunities to improve the level of care or coordination of services for members. A Quality Improvement Committee consisting of practicing physicians and health plan staff recommend and provide oversight for improvement activities.

    Capital Health Plan is committed to providing safe and effective care for its members, and working to improve patient safety for the entire Tallahassee community. The health plan will continue to take a leadership role in the initiatives that will result in improved healthcare services for people through the Tallahassee area.

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