Our History

ICSI was established in 1993 to improve patient care in Minnesota through innovations and partnerships in evidence-based medicine with founders HealthPartners, Mayo Clinic and Park Nicollet Health Services. The collaborative is unique in bringing medical organizations, nonprofit health plans, consumers and business representatives into the decision-making process at a common table.

ICSI 1.0

ICSI initially brought local stakeholders together to rigorously develop best practice health care guidelines for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of numerous diseases and health conditions. ICSI continues this foundational work today, as clinicians practicing evidence-based medicine through quality systems improve the value of the care they deliver.

ICSI 2.0

In 1997, ICSI accelerated improvement in health care in medical groups and hospitals by complementing its foundational guideline work with helping to establish cultures of quality and to implement best clinical practices. ICSI increased its number of members and sponsors in 2001, helping Minnesota become the first state where medical care was built around the systematic use and implementation of evidence-based best medical practices. With statewide reach, ICSI tackled major health care issues like diabetes across all member organizations, consistent quality improvement frameworks, depression care infrastructure, and advanced access, which increased the availability of care for patients.

ICSI 3.0

ICSI’s values of collaboration, trust, leadership, objectivity and patient-centeredness fueled its third phase of growth. In this period, ICSI brought together providers, health plans, employers, patients and other stakeholders to tackle complex and sometimes contentious health care system challenges that no single group could solve on its own. Two improvements springing from this system-focused collaboration were the DIAMOND program, which changed how care for patients with depression in primary care clinics is delivered and paid for, and a program that improves appropriate high-tech diagnostic imaging using decision-support criteria.

ICSI 4.0

In 2010, ICSI expanded its work to achieve the Triple Aim of improving the health of the population, the patient care experience including quality, and the affordability of care. ICSI focused on values of innovation, nimbleness, co-creation and trust to support its ever-challenging work. At the Board’s recommendation, ICSI’s work included increasing knowledge, understanding and legitimacy around improving Total Cost of Care (TCOC) and value.

ICSI solidified its role as an unbiased, neutral convener by collaborating with organizations to accelerate transformation across more populations and to launch initiatives that met SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) goals. An example is the Reducing Avoidable Readmissions Effectively (RARE) Campaign, which united ICSI, the Minnesota Hospital Association and Stratis Health to help more than 86 hospitals and 100+ community partners to prevent 7,975 avoidable hospital readmissions in Minnesota. This equates to 31,900 more nights of sleep for patients in their own beds, and is estimated to have saved the Minnesota health community more than $70 million.

ICSI’s evolution helped make the collaborative one of the leaders in health care system transformation not only in Minnesota, but across the country. For example, ICSI’s leading work in integrating behavioral health into primary care in Minnesota resulted in ICSI and nine other local and national health care improvement organizations receiving one of the initial 107 Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation awards. The Care of Mental, Physical And Substance-use Syndromes (COMPASS) initiative used a team-based model in primary care to improve the care of patients with uncontrolled depression as well as uncontrolled diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

ICSI 5.0

ICSI’s next phase is in development. Watch for updates on how we’ll move our health care transformation work forward.