Best Practices Library

These resources aim help health care leaders expand their knowledge and enhance their performance in achieving their community health goals.

The library’s information is constantly changing as documents are continuously posted. Topics go across all health care issues and cut across all health care settings.

If you have questions e-mail us at hpoe@aha.org.


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Case Studies
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Reducing Emergency Department ICU Critical Care Boarder Hours

Sep 16, 2016
Boarding patients in the emergency department (ED) is detrimental to patient care, and evidence suggests that critical care patients boarded in the ED have longer lengths of stay and higher mortali
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Emergency Department "Code Sepsis"

Sep 16, 2016
Sepsis is a medical condition with high rates of morbidity, mortality and cost and it is the most frequent diagnosis on the medical-surgical units at the hospital.
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Increasing the Number of Same-Day Stent Discharges from the Cardiac Cath Lab

Sep 16, 2016
According to published research data, the majority of cardiac stent patients have no additional risk of complications if they are discharged the same day as their procedure versus the following day
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VTE Prevention Process Improvement Project

Sep 16, 2016
After reducing health care-acquired deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary emboli (PE) in 2011, the hospital observed an increase in these events in 2013.
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Influenza Vaccines for Health Care Workers

Sep 16, 2016
This health system's employee influenza vaccination policy compliance rate was less than 70 percent, putting it below the 75.2 percent national average for health care workers in 2013-2014.
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Prehospital Notification of Potential Stroke Patients and Improved Stroke Patient Care in the Rural Acute Care Setting

Sep 16, 2016
The facility partnered with local emergency medical services (EMS) providers to improve early recognition of signs and symptoms of a stroke and reduce delays in diagnosis.
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Improving Physician Clinic Access through Lean Six Sigma

Sep 16, 2016
Limited provider appointment availability in the clinic was causing delays for patients seeking care, decreased patient satisfaction, increased wait time and lost revenue associated with patients w
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Lean Six Sigma Clean Closure Implementation Reduces Colorectal Surgical Site Infections by 62% in a Tertiary Medical Center

Sep 16, 2016
Surgical site infections (SSI) lead to patient suffering, morbidity and mortality, extended length of stay and avoidable costs of additional care.
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Using Virtual Discrete Event Simulation in Operating Room Design to Enhance Patient Throughput and Capacity

Sep 16, 2016
The organization used both discrete event and live simulation methodologies to ensure the smooth relocation of a perioperative services department.
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Lean Six Sigma Enhances the Traditional Hospital-Based Root Cause Analysis

Sep 16, 2016
The organization sought to create a root cause analysis (RCA) structure that endowed greater focus, efficiency and effectiveness in the process.
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Lean Six Sigma Prevents 96 Acute Kidney Injuries and Saves $675,000 Annually in High-Volume Cardiac Catheterization Lab Program

Sep 16, 2016
The goal of this project was to reduce the incidence of contrast-induced neuropathy (CIN) as a result of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
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Lean Six Sigma Project Improves Medicare Wheelchair Funding Approval Rate by 76%

Sep 16, 2016
The organization used Lean Six Sigma process techniques to identify and support improved efficiencies in Medicare wheelchair approval within a durable medical equipment hospital affiliate.
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Reduction of Clostridium difficile Infections After Implementation of Enteric Contact Precautions

Sep 16, 2016
The health system did not have an adequate process for notifying staff when a patient was on contact precautions due to Clostridium difficile (C.
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Physician-Driven Initiative to Reduce Hospital Episiotomy Rates

Sep 16, 2016
Although episiotomy was once considered a routine part of childbirth, in recent years, there has been a shift away from this practice.
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Elimination of Early Elective Deliveries Prior to 39 Weeks Gestation

Sep 16, 2016
The project includes a hard stop chain of command.
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Reducing Tracheostomy-Related Hospital-Acquired Pressure Ulcers through a Bundle Approach

Sep 16, 2016
The prevention of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers (HAPUs) is a major focus for health care organizations.
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Reduction in Use of Executive Health Resources (EHR)

Sep 16, 2016
The utilization review staff at HSHS St. Elizabeth's Hospital examines medical records for inpatient and outpatient orders and statuses to ensure patient records are accurate.
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Eliminating Medically Unnecessary Blood Transfusions at a Community Teaching Hospital

Sep 16, 2016
Overutilizing blood transfusions adds significant costs and can increase patient length of stay and morbidity.
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Patient-Centered Approach to Reducing Readmissions

Sep 16, 2016
Readmissions are a burden for patients, families and health care providers. HSHS St.
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Surgery Cancellation Reduction: A Six Sigma Black Belt Project to Reduce Surgery Case Cancellation Rates

Sep 16, 2016
Surgery case cancellation rates OSF Center for Health were 10.5 percent over six months.
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University Hospitals Geneva Medical Center – Predictive Analytics Program

Sep 15, 2016
What is it? In January 2013, University Hospitals (UH) Geneva Medical Center launched a predictive analytics program as a means of identifying those patients at high risk for readmission
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Mercy Hospital Kingfisher – Healthier Together in Kingfisher County

Sep 15, 2016
What is it? The Healthier Together project aims at diminishing the state’s population health gaps, one county at a time in Oklahoma.
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White Memorial Medical Center – Vive Bien Senior Wellness Program

Sep 14, 2016
Overview In 2009, White Memorial Medical Center (WMMC) partnered with the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation’s (MAOF) Senior Hispanic Information and Assistance Services to provide l
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Unity Health – Behavioral Health Services

Sep 14, 2016
Overview One of the most pressing gaps in community care was adequate behavioral health for adolescents.
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Susquehanna Health – The LifeCenter

Sep 14, 2016
Overview For more than 25 years, The LifeCenter has been a friendly, relaxing place to learn about living a healthy lifestyle.
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St. Joseph's Health – Work Train

Sep 13, 2016
Overview A highly successful endeavor piloted by the Northside Urban Partnership, “Work Train” is an expansion of a pilot program titled “Green Train,” which provided job training and pla
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Nash Health Care Systems – Nash Health Care Transitional Care Program

Sep 13, 2016
Overview The Nash Health Care Transitional Care Program (TCP) serves as a model of the organizational mission to provide superior quality health care services to help improve the health o
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Norwegian American Hospital – Intensive Outpatient Program

Sep 13, 2016
Overview Norwegian American Hospital’s (NAH’s) Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) provides intensive group therapy to clients with active symptoms of mental illness.
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Case Study" Saint Anthony Hospital – Adults and Children Together (ACT) Against Violence

Sep 13, 2016
Overview The goal of the 10-week series is to strengthen families by teaching positive parenting techniques and creating safe, nurturing, and healthy environments to protect children from
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Saint Anthony Hospital – Community-Based Mental Health Services

Sep 13, 2016
Overview Saint Anthony Hospital (SAH) Mental Health Services were established in 2003 to offer culturally sensitive counseling services and emotional support to adults who have limited or
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Rochester Regional Health – Daily Safety Check

Sep 9, 2016
What is it? Early identification and mitigation of risks is critical to ensure safety in any environment, particularly in health care where the dimensions of safety are substantially comp
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St. Joseph's Health – St. Joseph's Care Coordination Network

Sep 9, 2016
What is it? A Medicaid Health Home is a care management program in which lead Health Home organizations take responsibility for the comprehensive needs of its patients, including not only
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Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center – Diabetes Wellness Center

Sep 9, 2016
What is it? Brookhaven’s Diabetes Wellness Center has two programs aimed at people living with diabetes or at risk for developing diabetes.
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Finger Lakes Health – Choose Health Action Teen (CHAT) Program

Sep 9, 2016
What is it? Finger Lakes Health’s Choose Health Action Teen (CHAT) program is a student education program in which high school and college-age students are trained as volunteers to teach
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Erie County Medical Center – Mobile Mammography Coach

Sep 9, 2016
What is it? Through its community-based approach, the Mobile Mammography Coach increases mammography outreach, education and screening among women in the identified areas.
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Lakeland Regional Health – Lakeland Regional Health Family Health Center

Sep 8, 2016
What is it? Lakeland Regional Health Family Health Center (FHC) opened in July 2012 to provide underserved patients with a medical home at which to stay well and receive treatment for chr
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Cape Regional Health System – Parish Nursing Program at Cape Regional

Sep 8, 2016
What is it? Parish Nursing is the nurturing of body, mind and spirit with an emphasis on health education, health promotion and wellness.
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Boston Medical Center – STATE OBOT-B

Sep 2, 2016
What is it? The State Technical Assistance Treatment Expansion Office-Based Opioid Treatment Program with Buprenorphine (STATE OBOT-B) is an innovative, multidisciplinary opioid treatment
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Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento – Community Navigator

Sep 1, 2016
What is it? The Community Navigator patrols (on foot) the .25-mile radius surrounding Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento (SMCS) and builds relationships with the local homeless and transie
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Lee Health – Flavor Harvest@Home

Sep 1, 2016
What is it? In an effort to pursue optimum nutrition and improve long-term health, avoid unnecessary readmissions, reduce length of stay and save hospital funds, Lee Health developed Flav
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Holy Name Medical Center - Familia y Salud (Hispanic Outreach Program)

Aug 29, 2016
OverviewClinical studies have shown that patients treated by physicians and staff who are familiar with their culture, language and customs are more receptive and do better than those trea
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Greenville Health System – GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail

Aug 29, 2016
Overview Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail is a 21-mile multi-use greenway system that runs along the Reedy River, connecting Greenville County with schools, parks, and local bu
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Holy Name Medical Center - Jewish Community Services and Sinai Schools

Aug 29, 2016
OverviewHoly Name Medical Center (HNMC) offers 83,700 Jewish community members targeted health education and screenings, including Sunday mammograms and hospice programs accredited by the
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Greenville Health System – PASOs (Steps)

Aug 29, 2016
Overview PASOs, which means “steps” in Spanish, is a community-based organization whose central office is hosted by the University of South Carolina’s (USC) Arnold School of Public Health
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Greenville Health System - EMS Nurse Triage and Medical Neighborhoods

Aug 29, 2016
OverviewIn 2012, the Blue Cross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation awarded Greenville Health System (GHS) and Greenville County EMS (GCEMS) a $300,000 grant to implement an adult tria
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Lee Health - Community Behavioral Health Capacity Building

Aug 29, 2016
Overview In 2007, the number one priority from Community Health Visioning 2017 was for the community to develop a comprehensive continuum of mental health and substance abuse services.
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Hill Country Memorial Hospital – Salud for You

Aug 29, 2016
Overview Launched in 2013, the Salud For You Program (SFY) provides comprehensive health screening and wellness education for community residents by partnering with local businesses who a
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Hill Country Memorial Hospital – HCM Hospice

Aug 29, 2016
Overview Since 1994 HCM Hospice has served as a community-based, non-profit organization certified in hospice and palliative care.
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Greenville Health System – CenteringPregnancy®

Aug 29, 2016
Overview South Carolina suffers from a high rate of preterm birth, with 11.1 percent of women delivering prior to 37 weeks gestational age.