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Clinical Microsystems, Part 4. Building Innovative Population-Specific Mesosystems

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Background: In 2005, the Geisinger Health System (Danville, Pennsylvania) developed ProvenCare, first applied to coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), as an innovative provider-driven quality improvement program to promote reliable delivery of evidence-based best practices. A new mesosystem is created for each ProvenCare model, integrating the care delivery process between contributing microsystems and defining new mesosystem leadership. The approach has been expanded to many patient populations, including percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

A New PCI Mesosystem: In 2007 clinical microsystem thinking was applied to PCI: understanding the current processes and patterns, assembling the frontline professionals to redesign the processes, and using a beta-test phase to measure the changes and adjust accordingly, until the best process was established. A new mesosystem team was created to ensure that the right care is delivered at the right time.

Refining Implementation: In the course of developing the CABG initiative, Geisinger established role definitions to keep teams on track; a comprehensive plan from design through execution and follow-up; and guiding principles established for the teams engaged in designing, developing, and implementing ProvenCare programs.

Preliminary Experience: For the 40 measurable process elements in the PCI mesosystem pathway, as of month seven (July 2008) of the beta-test phase, 55% of the patients received 100% of the identified process elements.

Conclusion: Geisinger Health System has joined different microsystems to form an innovative mesosystem capable of producing reliable, evidence-based care for patient subpopulations. This approach to embedding evidence-based care into routine care delivery can be adapted by others.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    David W. Baker, MD, MPH, FACP, executive vice president for the Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation at The Joint Commission, is the inaugural editor-in-chief of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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