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SIM Practice Facilitation

ICSI and Stratis Health have combined practice facilitation resources to bring together a mix of primary and specialty care provider organizations for quality improvement activities as part of a $45 million State Innovation Model (SIM) cooperative agreement. The Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Human Services received this award in 2013 from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to help implement the Minnesota Accountable Health Model.

Fresh Ideas, Fresh Eyes:
HCMC's Internship Experience

Academic health centers participate in training the next generation of health professionals, advancing scientific knowledge and its application to improving health. Students in the rigorous DNP program at the University of Minnesota (U of M) learn to provide advanced nursing care as members of interprofessional health care teams, emphasizing evidence-based practice and quality improvement to impact patient outcomes. 

Hennepin County Medical Center’s (HCMC) East Lake Clinic is one of the participating clinics in this SIM practice facilitation work. Following successful grantee selection, staff accepted the invitation to include U of M DNP student Laila Akhter (pictured at right) as part of their team.

Akhter was involved in much of this asthma quality improvement work, dedicating a half-day to a full day each week to the project. Her duties included communicating with staff, goal setting, collecting data and feedback, and forming a project “Champion Group.”

Asked why a clinic should consider more student involvement, Akhter commented, “Interns provide fresh ideas and fresh eyes to the clinic setting. They can also bring the academic/research piece to a project that other staff don’t have time for.” She also noted that a key lesson learned for her was how critical clear communication with all levels of staff is to a project's success.

Students often have keen insights into what is and is not working in clinical processes and embedding them in quality improvement teams may provide benefit both for their learning as well as the clinic’s improvement efforts. If your clinic is interested in working with a U of M student, please email Mary Mescher Benbenek, Clinical Associate Professor & FNP Program Coordinator at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, or call (612) 626-5236.

Work Continues INTO 2017 WITH EXTENSION

We received an extension that enables this work to continue through June of 2017. New participants are Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) clinics in Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park, and Ortonville Area Health Services. Appleton Area Health Services, Bluestone Physician Services, Catholic Charities of St. Paul & Minneapolis, HCMC East Lake Clinic, and Madison Healthcare Services plan are continuing in the project.

The following clinics transitioned out at the end of 2016: Sartell Pediatrics, Affiliated Community Medical Centers (Litchfield East and West Clinics), and Altru Health System (Roseau and Warroad Clinics).

Participating Organizations

Six organizations, comprised of eight clinics and approximately 84 physicians and other providers, are working on quality improvement activities. Participants are located across the state of Minnesota, and their focus areas for improvement work include total cost of care, chronic disease management, health care home certification, health IT, behavioral health integration, alternative care models and/or general quality improvement.

  • Appleton Area Health Services, Appleton (one clinic)
  • Bluestone Physician Services, Stillwater (one clinic)
  • Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minneapolis (one location)
  • Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis (three clinics)
  • Madison Healthcare Services, Madison (one clinic)
  • Ortonville Area Health Services (one clinic)

To learn more, please contact ICSI’s Jeyn Monkman.

Updated 03/07/2017