Cynosure HQIC Leadership Council Members—Patient and Family Engagement Newsletter May 2021
Monday, May 3, 2021
Issue 3, Volume 1
Welcome to the Cynosure HQIC
Hospital Connection Newsletter!

Introduction to Patient and Family Engagement
The funfetti approach is Cynosure Health's commitment to engaging the perspective, insights and experiences of patient & family caregivers into all Hospital Quality Improvement Collaborative (HQIC) activities. By baking it into quality improvement programs, we can more effectively leverage Patient and Family Engagement (PFE) as an active strategy to improve outcomes for all.

The funfetti approach to PFE provides flexibility for hospitals to engage more diverse representation in new activities that will inform hospital quality improvement efforts. We invite you to join us to mobilize PFE as an active strategy to improve outcomes.

How will we know we are making a progress in our work of partnering with patients and family members?
For the HQIC, we will be gathering information on the achievement of a set of core measures that support PFE. These measures are very similar to those that our hospitals have worked on in the past.

There are three measures that are evaluated and implemented at the bedside:
  • Implementation of a planning checklist for patients known to have a planned admission to the hospital
  • Implementation of a discharge checklist
  • Conducting shift exchange huddles and bedside reporting with patients and families

There are two measures that are evaluated and implemented at the organizational level:

  • Designation of an accountable leader in the hospital who is responsible for PFE
  • Hospitals having an active PFE Committee or other committees where patients are represented and report to the Board.

These measures will be collected quarterly initially, then moved to twice a year. Hospitals will submit data via survey ranking their level of adoption of each strategy.

A sixth measure is being considered that will help us gauge the baby steps we are taking towards engaging patients and families as partners in quality improvement:
  • Number of quality improvement activities that involved a patient partner.
What ideas do we have that might lead to an improvement?
For the bedside measures, consider all three interventions as part of one patient family engagement strategy that follows the patient from admission to discharge.
Coaching questions to consider in taking small steps:
  • What patient population would benefit most? Do you have a high readmission diagnosis? Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)?
  • What clinical teams are poised to fold PFE into the batter of their quality improvement cake? Can you organize around service lines that have a team that coordinates care from admission to discharge? For example surgery, interventional cardiology.
  • Do you have a unit with aligned goals and a passionate, innovative nurse manager?
Implementation Tips:
  • Use staff champions to select what and how to test.
  • Do not spread to entire unit or organization until tested and endorsed by staff members and patients.
  • When creating an admission and/or discharge checklist involve patient family partners in identifying what information is important to include in the tool. Ask for patients and families input in each step of the design and testing process to avoid a “check the box” approach to engaging a patient family advisor (PFA) only in the final approval of a tool.
  • If you have implemented an admission or discharge checklist, please share! We would love to hear from you!

For the organization level interventions, identify a PFE champion to provide leadership in testing bedside interventions and moving towards adoption of the core measures.
Coaching questions to consider in taking small steps:
Resources to help:
  • Is there a position that aligns with PFE, examples are, Quality Improvement, Safety, Risk Management, Community Benefits or Care Continuum Leader?
  • Is there a nurse leader who is curious about patient centered care?
  • Is there a bedside care nurse with credibility that is passionate about PFE? This is the perfect opportunity to give a bedside caregiver administrative time to advance PFE goals. For example, one eight hour shift every other week or every three weeks to plan, educate, evaluate and spread PFE interventions. This is an outstanding growth opportunity and helps build leadership capacity and succession planning.
  • Is there an opportunity to invite a patient or family member to be involved in evaluating your organization’s response to the COVID-19 PHE?
  • Is there a family member that was especially appreciative and engaged as a recipient of remote/virtual visits that could be invited to be an advisor?
Reminder: Encyclopedia of Measures
The Encyclopedia of Measures (EOM) can be accessed here. Start submitting your data to your hospital associations today!
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What PFE technical support is available to hospitals?
PFE Think Tanks
  • Monthly 30-minute peer learning meetings with a focus on a different PFE topic every month. Can’t make the Think Tank? No problem! Monthly PFE Think Tank Snapshots are sent out so you never have to miss a thing.
PFE Think Tank for May

Patient Family Centered Care and Patient Family Engagement – Speaking the language

PFE Community on CLIC
Gateways Course on CLIC
  • The Gateways are a proven process to developing partnerships with patients and family caregivers in hospital improvement.
  • This on-demand course lays out a 5-step approach ensures hospitals have the foundation in place for a sustainable PFE structure that continues to feed their hospital strategic priorities.
Lindsey Galli, Director of Education at PFCCpartners had the pleasure of interviewing Naomi Williams, PFAnetwork Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Workgroup Co-Chair last month. Naomi is a mother on a mission to help families and caregivers navigate life with differently abled kids. Her son Noah joined our conversation, and he was not shy with his cheers of encouragement for his mother's powerful words. The conversation focused on engaging underrepresented populations in healthcare.
In a clip from the entire interview, Lindsey and Naomi discussed the first step to engaging historically underrepresented communities. Naomi mentions “A lot of people have been talking about diversity and inclusion. If you are going to talk about that, then you have to talk about equity.” Her piece of advice is to identify the populations that are not seated at the table with you. Watch the full clip here.

To investigate rural and urban trends in health disparities and determine whether the gaps between racial groups are closing, researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 1999–2018 to compare mortality rates from diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke in black people and white people aged 25 years and older. Over the 20-year timeframe, the researchers found:
  • Black adults had consistently higher death rates from all four conditions in both rural and urban areas than white adults.
  • The highest mortality rates from each health condition occurred in black adults residing in rural areas.
  • Mortality rates from diabetes and high blood pressure complications were nearly two and three times higher, respectively, in black adults than in white adults.
  • For diabetes and high blood pressure, the mortality rate gap between white adults and black adults narrowed over the past two decades in urban areas. This also occurred in rural locations but to a lesser extent.
The Conversation: Between Us, About Us, a new public service campaign developed by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and the Black Coalition Against COVID-19, provides black communities with credible information about COVID-19 vaccines. Black doctors, nurses and researchers are featured in 50 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) videos, with more videos to come. “We’re seeing more black adults want to get vaccinated when their time comes, but still a sizeable percent say they are waiting to see others vaccinated first. Among this group, many share common concerns that are directly addressed in this campaign,” said KFF President and CEO Drew Altman.
Patient and Family Engagement Corner
PFCCpartners logo

The PFE Community is a place for sharing resources, ideas, and best practices regarding the meaningful inclusion of the patient’s voice in our work. It’s your chance to learn from PFCCpartners on how patients and families can help strengthen approaches in your hospitals, and also share your knowledge and resources with others.

PFCCpartners Workshop
May 2021

Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) Workgroup—A Year in Review

DEI workgroup members will share the activities, actions and bumps during our first year together. We’ll share the challenges of creating a trusted space for crucial conversations about race, ethnicity and the intersection of racism and health equity.
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Illinois Hospital Association
Patient and Family Engagement
Steering Committee

The Illinois Hospital Association Patient Family Engagement Steering Committee is a group of highly motivated PFE leaders from hospitals within their state. They come together every quarter to learn PFE best practices from across the state. In the past they have provided patient-centered feedback on various policy and advocacy issues, assisted with the development of keynote and breakout session content for the 2019 IHA Leadership Summit, and developed a gallery of posters to highlight PFE best practices and the vital role of leadership in supporting these efforts. Download the poster gallery here.

PFCCpartners now has the pleasure of facilitating this committee moving forward. At the first meeting in March, committee members shared the benefits of being part of a committee such as this through a word cloud.

Enroll in the course today!
It's here! The much-anticipated Gateways to Patient Family Partnership Programs is now available on CLIC.

The Gateways are a proven process to developing partnerships with patients and family caregivers in hospital improvement. This 5-step approach ensures hospitals have the foundation in place for a sustainable PFE structure that continues to feed their strategic priorities. With tools and templates along the way, this interactive on-demand course is meant for anyone who is in a position to develop, or sustain, a system for engaging patients and families continuously into quality improvement efforts.

This could be a Patient Family Advisory Council, a patient on a Quality Committee, or a group of Patient Family Partners collaborating with hospital staff on a variety of improvement projects. Encourage your hospitals to take the first step toward engagement!

The Cynosure Learning and Improvement Connection (CLIC), virtual learning platform is designed to be a low burden, resource-rich online environment for our hospitals to build knowledge and gain the skills necessary to effectively drive improvement. EVERYONE in your organization is invited to join CLIC. CLIC is where you will find information and resources for HQIC quality improvement.
Create an account in CLIC by navigating to, and following the instructions to register. Once registered, click the links for available courses, and click “enroll” for the course you would like to view. Once enrolled, you will find hundreds of educational modules in several courses designed to be experienced on demand in short timeframes. Each video or written module is designed to be completed within 5 minutes on average, and each course contains several additional resources for your improvement teams.

CLIC Image
Courses currently available on CLIC:

In addition to on-demand courses, CLIC is the place to find tools and resources such as topic change packages, discovery tools, improvement team workbooks, and other resources relevant to quality improvement.

Other Additional Resources
No-cost for Family Caregivers

Do you know any caregivers who want to learn more about care giving while also learning to care for themselves? Check out these no-cost webinars, which are open to everyone. This is a collaborative effort of the California Caregiver Resource Centers to ensure high-quality education for family caregivers. Certain webinars are available in Spanish or Vietnamese. Registration is required.

Shared on Twitter by the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) Antimicrobial Stewardship Project (ASP), this educational website was created as a research-based resource for patients and the general public about Clostridioides difficile (C. diff) infection by graduate students at McGill University. The website is organized into online modules that cover C. diff infection, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, dangers, prevention and challenges, each followed by a brief survey to assess learning outcomes.
Behavioral Health, Opioid Utilization and Misuse

The pandemic has taken a heavy emotional toll on many people. If you know someone struggling with despair, depression or thoughts of suicide, you may be wondering how to help. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, but research shows that suicide is preventable. To learn more about the podcast, click here.

With the sharp increase in drug overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, this handbook developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is especially timely. At 18 pages, it's organized for a quick read, with insights and advice from health care executives and quality improvement leaders from four different health systems representing urban, suburban and rural settings. They share their experiences engaging stakeholders, working across interdisciplinary teams, leveraging data to inform efforts and implementing training and education. The handbook is supplemented by a series of short video interviews with local health care leaders that describe these strategies in more detail.
COVID-19 and Infection Control

The CDC has updated its guidance on cleaning and disinfecting homes and facilities to reflect data showing the risk of transmitting COVID-19 through surfaces is low. To learn more, click here.

Mass General Brigham, a Boston-based non-profit hospital created the COVID-19 Multilingual, Disability, and Community Health Resource Repository. The repository includes resources for patients, providers, and employees who speak languages other than English. To learn more, click here.

In a March 16 report, it was reported that Spanish-language misinformation about the COVID vaccine has gone viral on social media. This is not helping with vaccine acceptance with this vulnerable population that has already been hard hit by the pandemic. In a recent analysis, it was noted that the gap is widening in COVID-19 vaccine rates for Hispanic people. Low vaccination rates among Hispanic people could further deepen the health disparities that already exist. This population faces many unique challenges that must be overcome at the community level. Access the report and recommendations here.

Thursday, May 6, 2021
12 noon ET to 5 p.m. ET
Health Observances for May

Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. During May, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) joins the national movement to raise awareness about mental health. Each year NAMI fights the stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families.

The World Health Organization (WHO)'s World Hand Hygiene Day is on May 5, 2021. Learn how hospitals can get involved, download posters and key facts, join the social media campaign, and download the campaign essential toolkit. 

National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale's birthday.

As National Hospital Week (May 9–15) approaches with the theme Inspiring Hope through Healing, the AHA would like to honor the entire community of hospital and health system team members for all of their work.

Get Involved! To contribute during National Hospital Week, AHA invites health care workers to share their feedback online or via social media with the tag #hospitalweek of what has inspired them throughout the pandemic.

The month of May was chosen to commemorate two significant events in history: the immigration of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869 (Golden Spike Day).

Older Americans Month started in 1963 as a result of a meeting between President John F. Kennedy and the National Council of Senior Citizens when May was designated as "Senior Citizens Month."

At that time about 17 million Americans had reached their 65th birthday, about one-third of older Americans lived in poverty and the number of programs to address their needs were minimal.

Today, Older Americans Month is celebrated each May to honor and recognize older Americans for the contributions they make to our families, communities and society. The Administration for Community Living, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), issues a theme for Older Americans Month.


Jewish American Heritage Month was proclaimed by President George W. Bush on April 20, 2006. The President said, "We celebrate the rich history of the Jewish people in America and honor the great contributions they have made to our country."
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