Friday, January 13, 2012

MGHers to serve as Innovation Advisors



Two MGH staff members are among a group of 73 health care experts that have been tapped by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to help transform health care. Clay Ackerly, MD, MSc, internal medicine resident and future MGH/MGPO Management and Policy Fellow, and Barbara Blakeney, RN, MS, FNAP, innovation specialist at the MGH Center for Innovations in Care Delivery, have been selected to participate in the CMS Innovation Advisors Program, which aims to improve care while reducing costs at local and national levels.

The program provides participants with an intensive, six-month orientation designed to enhance their knowledge of health care economics and finance, population health, systems analysis, and operations research.  After orientation, participants will test and refine new strategies to redesign care at their home institutions, creating collaborations in the community to carry out their work and sharing their findings regionally and across the United States.

As part of the selection process, applicants were asked to propose an improvement project.  Ackerly has proposed a project focusing on improving care for elderly patients by enhancing coordination between the MGH and the Partners Continuing Care Network – which includes four post-acute specialty hospitals, 23 outpatient centers, three skilled nursing facilities and a home health agency covering eastern Massachusetts. “I’m excited by this
opportunity to work with and learn from the CMS Innovation Advisor network and apply these lessons to improve the health of patients in our community,” Ackerly says.

On behalf of the Center for Innovations in Care Delivery, Blakeney’s project will incorporate a new attending nurse role into the care teams of 11 different units at the MGH. The attending nurse will be responsible for ensuring care continuity and progression along the plan of care, from admission to discharge and post-discharge.

Says Blakeney, “I’m very pleased to be invited to participate as an Innovation Advisor. I look forward to the
coming year’s work and the opportunity to engage in some of the most cutting-edge innovation in health care in the country.”

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