United Hospital Fund Provides $317,000 for Grants to Improve Health Services in New York City
The United Hospital Fund today announced six grants totaling $317,000 to improve health care services in New York City. These strategic grants are a part of the Fund’s program to support the development of model projects, sponsor research to analyze systemic problems, and foster innovative solutions. Beneficiaries of the Fund’s grants include not-for-profit and public hospitals, nursing homes, and health care, academic, and public interest organizations.
Among the initiatives funded through the six grants are programs aimed at preventing avoidable hospital readmissions, improving staff communication and teamwork surrounding eldercare services, and facilitating provider use of electronic health records to make referrals to community organizations that offer health self-management programs.
“With our focus on innovation, the United Hospital Fund is pleased to support these projects that all seek to deliver care in new ways to improve the experience and outcomes of patients,” said James R. Tallon, Jr., president of the United Hospital Fund. “Grassroots projects like these are what are transforming health care in our country at an unprecedented pace, and we are pleased to help facilitate such change.”
Details on the grants are included below.
Improving the Quality of Care
Brooklyn Hospital Center ($50,000)
New York Methodist Hospital ($50,000)
St. Barnabas Hospital ($50,000)
St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center ($50,000)
To implement and test interventions based on each hospital’s analyses of readmission factors conducted in the first stage of the Preventable Hospital Readmission Initiative.
Dangerous to patients, costly, and reflecting poor quality of care, preventable hospital readmissions are a problem of such magnitude that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has challenged hospitals across the country to reduce readmissions by 20 percent. To support hospitals in the greater New York area in this effort, the Fund established the Preventable Hospital Readmission Initiative in 2011.
The Fund has awarded stage 2 grants to four of the hospitals that participated in the initiative’s first stage, during which they analyzed patient charts, interviewed patients and family caregivers, and talked with community-based clinicians. Each hospital will follow its own program of stage 2 activities, targeting the patient cohort it identified following stage 1 (e.g., those with congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, or pneumonia). Grant recipients will address several common areas: education for patients and family caregivers during hospitalization, discharge preparation and instructions for follow-up appointments with community-based physicians, medication management (with special emphasis on high-risk medications), and communication and transfer of information to community-based physicians about their patients' recent admissions.
PHI/Isabella Geriatric Center ($75,000)
To improve staff communication and collaborative problem-solving skills at Isabella Geriatric Center’s nursing home and community-based programs, embedding the innovative Coaching Approach in Isabella’s organizational culture.
This second-year grant will allow PHI and Isabella Geriatric Center to build upon the work they began under an initial Fund grant awarded in June 2011. With this grant, PHI, a leader in training and organizational development for eldercare and disability services, will continue to facilitate Isabella’s adoption of the PHI Coaching Approach, through leadership training for senior and executive staff, training front-line staff in communication and teamwork, and assisting Isabella in developing structural supports for coaching, including revisions to policies and procedures.
Redesigning Health Care Services
Fund for Public Health in New York/New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene ($42,000)
To engage medical providers and community-based organizations in one New York City neighborhood in designing and pilot testing a model that allows providers to use electronic health records to refer patients to community programs supporting the management of chronic disease.
While health care providers are well equipped to diagnose, treat, and prescribe medications for hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions, they are not so well positioned to address many of the factors that contribute to chronic illness, such as improper diet, lack of exercise, smoking, and substance abuse. Many community-based organizations, however, do offer programs that help support patient health and management of chronic disease by promoting medication adherence, physical activity, weight loss, nutrition, blood pressure monitoring, and smoking cessation.
This grant will enable the Primary Care Information Project (a division of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene that supports the adoption and use of electronic health records by primary care providers and specialists in New York City’s underserved communities) to develop and pilot a program that will enable providers to use electronic health records to make referrals to community programs. A planning council of providers and community-based organizations (CBOs) in one designated neighborhood will work with project staff to develop the referral model. Project staff will then assist providers in modifying their electronic health records to support referrals and assist CBOs in designing systems to receive and monitor referrals. A resource directory of participating CBOs will be developed for physician practices to use in targeting patient referrals to specific programs and classes. The model will be tested through a six-month pilot, which will provide data on its feasibility and preliminary data on the impact of the model on patient health.
About the United Hospital Fund: The United Hospital Fund is a health services research and philanthropic organization whose primary mission is to shape positive change in health care for the people of New York.