JavaScript has to be enabled to view this site. Learn how to enable JavaScript.


ICSI News September 2017


Healthy Partnerships: How Health Care Collaboration
Can Improve Quality and Cut Costs 

Minnesota health care is nationally known for its history of collaboration. In an article in the September, 2017 issue of Twin Cities Business, ICSI President David Abelson, M.D. and the leaders of several member and sponsor organizations, including Allina Health, HealthPartners, Fairview Health Services and UCare, talk candidly about ongoing and emerging collaborative efforts in the Twin Cities. Read the article

Pain Guideline Featured in Minnesota Medicine

“All pain is legitimate. All pain is real. But not all pain can be treated the same way.”

The ICSI Pain guideline is featured in the September/October 2017 edition of Minnesota Medicine in an article entitled, Pain: It's Time for a New Paradigm, written by guideline work group members Michael Hooten, M.D. (Mayo Clinic), David Thorson, M.D. (Entira Family Clinics), and Charles Reznikoff, M.D. (Hennepin County Medical Center), and ICSI health care consultants Audrey Hansen, BSN, MA, and Jodie Dvorkin, M.D.

The article offers a high-level look at the guideline, covering areas like pain assessment, treatment plans, pharmacological strategies, and non-opioid and opioid pain management. The updated evidence-based and best practice recommendations in the guideline focus less on pain scores and pain elimination and more on safe, active pain management based on helping patients reach their goals. Go directly to the article or visit the Minnesota Medicine website.

The complete ICSI Pain Guideline is available on the ICSI website.


Reinertsen Lecture: Mary Brainerd

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 | Reception 5 - 6 p.m., Lecture and Q&A
6 - 7:30 p.m. | Minneapolis Airport Marriott, Bloomington, MN

Mary Brainerd, recently retired from HealthPartners, will reflect on her decades in Minnesota health care. This is a free event and is open to the public. It will also be livestreamed on ICSI's Facebook page. Learn more and register today to save your spot!

Motivational Interviewing Foundations Workshops

Thursdays, October 19 and November 2, 2017 | 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. | Bloomington, MN

Motivational interviewing is patient-centered, and utilizes a guiding style to engage with patients to clarify their strengths and hopes, evoke their motivation for change and promote autonomy in decision-making. Registration is open – sign your team up today! Learn more.

Prime the Pump: Activate Your Team to Accelerate Improvement

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 | 8:00 a.m. – Noon | ICSI Offices, Bloomington, MN

Health care improvement is no longer the exclusive work of the “quality improvement” department. In order to succeed in today’s fast changing environment, you need the engagement of every person on your team to take your work to the next level. This workshop’s focus on teamwork will revitalize your change efforts! You and your team will walk out ready and eager to get started on improvement opportunities in your workplace. Learn more and register

  • Learn simple yet powerful quality improvement tools that can be applied by anyone to any problem.
  • Infuse a spirit of collaboration into your project by inviting your entire team to co-create solutions that work.
  • Learn and practice positive communication tools that can move even the most difficult conversations forward.

Quotes from past attendees:

"Real life examples, practical ideas and support. Excellent tools and resources."

“The entire workshop and format was excellent!”

“Dynamic presenter who drew on professional and personal experience-- enthusiastic voice/style. Very relatable content—made abstract ideas very easy to understand.”


ICSI Colloquium: Time for a Refresh

This year, we celebrated 20 years of hosting the Colloquium, ICSI’s annual conference on health care transformation. As we prepare to mark ICSI’s 25th anniversary in 2018, we see this as an opportune time to pause and reflect on how the Colloquium should evolve to best meet the needs of Minnesota’s health care community in a rapidly changing environment. Therefore we will not host a Colloquium in 2018.

We expect there will be other opportunities in 2018 to come together to learn, network, and share best practices. Please continue reading ICSI News, and follow us on social media, to stay informed about our plans as they develop. Questions? Please contact Lisa Carlson.

Changing the Conversation About Tobacco Use

The Tobacco Health Systems Change program, a partnership between ICSI and Clearway MinnesotaSM, is going strong as we ramp up activities in this second and final grant year. We are pleased to offer several opportunities for you, your providers, and other staff to re-engage in tobacco cessation work and learn “How to Ask About Tobacco Use Without Starting a Fire.”

Lung Force Expo 
October 12, 2017, Bloomington, MN
Presenter: ICSI’s Tani Hemmila

Many Faces of Community Health Conference
October 26, 2017, Bloomington, MN
Presenter: ICSI’s Sarah Horst Evans

Need a Jump Start?

If you can’t attend either conference, or need a more customized approach, you’re in luck! For a limited time we can provide up to two short, expert-facilitated sessions at your clinic that will “Jump Start” your efforts. Check out the flyer and contact us soon for additional details.

Interested in learning more about this project? You’ll find additional information, including upcoming education opportunities and a growing list of tools and resources, on the Tobacco Systems Change web page.

Improving Asthma Control through Asthma Action Plans

A new article, Improving Asthma Control through Asthma Action Plans: A Quality Improvement Project at a Midwest Community Clinic, is now available online in the Journal of Community Health Nursing, Issue 3. It is authored by Laila S. Akhter (University of Minnesota School of Nursing, pictured left), Jeyn L. Monkman (ICSI, pictured right), Gao Vang (Hennepin County Medical Center) and Jeanne Pfeiffer (University of Minnesota School of Nursing).

This article is a detailed account of the work done by Hennepin County Medical Center's East Lake Clinic, and chronicles the quality improvement project to improve asthma control as part of the State Innovation Model (SIM) cooperative agreement. 

Interested in learning more? The authors will present about this project at the Many Faces Conference on October 26, 2017. 

New Choosing Wisely App Available

Download the NEW Choosing Wisely app today! It brings the 500 specialty society recommendations and over 100 patient-friendly materials into the palms of both clinicians’ and patients’ hands. Choosing Wisely promotes conversations between clinicians and patients by helping patients choose care that is supported by evidence and truly necessary. Currently available for iPhones only (iPad will be coming soon; Android shortly thereafter). Read more about Choosing Wisely on the ICSI website.

Follow ICSI on Social Media!

ICSI News is sent out by email every month, and is also available online, but if social media is how you prefer to get your news and information, we encourage you to follow ICSI on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Through social media, we share:

  • Upcoming ICSI events and educational opportunities
  • Updates about the work being done through the ICSI collaborative
  • News from our members and sponsors
  • Information about health care improvement and innovation

ICSI is always looking out for exciting news, events and research work in the area of health care improvement. If you are involved in, or are aware of, such activities, share them with us through your favorite social media channel and we’ll help spread the word! Connect, follow, and have a conversation with us:

ICSI on Facebook 

ICSI on LinkedIn

ICSI on Twitter

Get to Know ICSI's Chief Medical Officer

Claire Neely, MD, FAAP, ICSI's chief medical officer, is profiled in the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics' September newsletter. Learn how her background and experience as a pediatrician has influenced her work in patient care and quality improvement. Read the article.

Long-Time ICSI Staffer Kathy Cummings Announces Retirement

Kathy Cummings, RN, MA, project manager and health care consultant, will retire on October 5, 2017. Kathy joined the ICSI team in February 2009 after a 31-year career with Park Nicollet.

During her time with ICSI, Kathy led guideline work groups, taught quality improvement classes, and was co-leader of the RARE Campaign, which engaged 84 Minnesota hospitals and over 100 community partners and helped prevent 7,975 avoidable readmissions. The RARE Campaign received the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award from The National Quality Forum in 2013.

Since late 2015, Kathy has been focused on ICSI’s work with the Peterson Center on Healthcare on a limited market test of an evidence-based model for developing high performing primary care practices. Traveling monthly to three primary care practices in New York City, St. Louis, and Moorhead, MN, she has helped these practices implement change modules to achieve higher quality; improve staff, provider, and patient satisfaction; and reduce total cost of care.

Kathy’s plans for her next phase of life include more time for volunteering and travel, continuing to teach water aerobics at the YMCA, and building her quilting business.

We want to thank Kathy for her many contributions to ICSI and wish her well as she begins this next life chapter.


MN Patient Experience of Care Survey Results Available

New survey results from the 2017 Patient Experience of Care Survey published by MN Community Measurement (MNCM) are now available. This survey shows results for 767 clinics across the state and throughout the Twin Cities, and is separated into five patient experience categories: Access to Care, Care Coordination, Provider Rating, Office Staff and Provider Communication.

Though patients are generally reporting positive experiences, the latest survey does show significant differences between clinics. The data are collected as part of Minnesota’s Statewide Quality Reporting and Measurement System.

If you’d like to look up an individual clinic, results are available now – and accessible by the public online at The results of this survey can be sorted by clinic name, city or zip code to identify a specific clinic or clinics in a specific area.

Advancing Relationship-based Cultures

David Abelson, MD, ICSI president, is the co-editor of Advancing Relationship-based Cultures. Dr. Abelson authored and co-authored a number of chapters; the book was co-edited by Mary Koloroutis, RNAdvancing Relationship-Based Cultures explains and expands a fundamental and often overlooked truth in health care: It is the confluence of relational and clinical competence that advances relationship-based healing cultures.

This book, while focusing most often on the people portion of the care equation, also addresses the processes and structures that can and must contribute to the ability of all people in health care to provide compassionate care through the four relational practices: attuning, wondering, following, and holding.

MNCM Named as a Qualified Clinical Data Registry

Minnesota Community Measurement (MNCM) has been named as a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) to collect clinical data on behalf of clinicians for data submission to CMS for the upcoming Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). MNCM can now assist clinician practices in meeting MIPS (formerly PQRS) requirements for the 2017 reporting year. More information is available on the MNCM website.