Author Archives: qsadmin

Direct Project Update

Tennessee healthcare providers streamline the process of communicating patient information

Nashville, Tenn. (January 22, 2014) The Tennessee Office of eHealths’ Health eShare Direct Project has been the driving force in assisting more than 4,000 healthcare professionals in Tennessee to embrace Direct Technology.  Direct facilitates secure health information exchange (HIE) through the electronic transmission of patient health information closing the gap in healthcare communication by painting a full picture of a patient’s healthcare status for all providers involved in the continuum of care.

According to David C. Kibbe, MD MBA, senior advisor to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) , DirectTrust cofounder and CEO, the adoption of Direct messaging and creation of meaningful use cases in Tennessee is among the most rapid he has seen.  In fact, according to the most recent data provided by DirectTrust to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), Tennessee now represents nearly 5 percent of all Direct active accounts established nationally.

Direct was initially piloted among the healthcare communities in Chattanooga, Memphis and Hickman County this past spring.  Under contract with the Tennessee Office of eHealth Initiatives (OeHI), Qsource utilized the lessons learned from the pilot program to expand Direct statewide, beginning in June of this past year.

As an incentive for participation, OeHI provided incentives for up to 4,000 participants of $500 per Direct user account.  Qsource was charged with distributing those funds before January 31, 2013.  The goal was reached six weeks early.

“As the sponsor of the Direct Project in Tennessee, watching it grow and succeed has been very satisfying and it has truly expanded health information exchange in Tennessee.  I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked side by side with Qsource who helped make this project such a success,” said George Beckett, Health IT Coordinator for OeHI.

In Chattanooga the Southeast Tennessee Area Agency on Aging and Disability is participating in the Community-based Care Transitions Program (CCTP). The agency is responsible for connecting the agency’s high-risk clients who are discharged from the hospital inpatient care settings with the community care, rehabilitation and ancillary services that they need to recuperate, recover and avoid costly hospital readmissions. Once enrolled in the pilot project, the agency began receiving patient discharge notifications and relevant patient information from clinical charts almost instantaneously with the use of Direct technology. The agency staff is able to reach out to patients, usually within hours of their discharge. In nine short months, this community has sent more than 2,000 Direct messages.

Healthstar Physicians, PC is a multi-specialty physician group with a support staff of more than 450 that serves 11 locations in four counties in East TN. Direct Technology is assisting this large organization by allowing it to securely exchange patient health information needed between multiple transitions of care within their own organization. Since implementing Direct in October 2013, the organization has sent over 1,500 messages to support patient care.

Direct technology is also a protocol used to achieve two of the measures for information exchange required for providers and hospitals seeking to maximize incentives for Stage 2 of the EHR Incentive Program.  While the funding for Direct is no longer available, the value of Direct continues to grow, with more than 13,500 messages sent in Tennessee alone.

Beckett further stated, “I would like to take a moment to thank the Qsource team for their hard work and dedication on the Direct Project. With their dedicated assistance and leadership we were able to achieve our goals.”

For more information about the Health eShare Direct Project visit  To learn how Qsource can help you evaluate Direct for your healthcare organization, call (866) 514-8595.

About the Office of eHealth

The mission of the Tennessee Office of eHealth Initiatives (OeHI) is to facilitate improvements in Tennessee’s health care quality, safety, transparency, efficiency, and cost effectiveness through statewide adoption and use of electronic health records (EHR) and health information exchange (HIE).   OeHI received grant funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to support this Direct Project and other projects to implement secure health information exchange.  Through these stimulus funds, ARRA enables Tennessee the opportunity to advance the secure exchange of health information and to expand the adoption and Meaningful Use of EHRs and HIE.  For more information, please visit

About Qsource

Qsource is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) healthcare quality improvement and information technology consultancy headquartered in Tennessee since 1973. Qsource provides a wide range of expert services to assist organizations and providers in improving healthcare quality and delivery with better patient outcomes and cost savings. Qsource consulting services are offered through our Divisions/Subsidiaries/Affiliates, Tools & Resources, and associates staffing offices  in Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville, Tenn., as well as Little Rock, Ark. For more information, please visit


Andrea Gillotte

(615) 574-7203


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Understanding CASPER Data

Posted 7/15/13

Qsource has provided a new PowerPoint presentation designed to help nursing homes understand CASPER data for quality improvement. It shows how to access the CASPER system, how to run the MDS 3.0 Quality Measure Package reports, how to use the reports to improve quality in your nursing home and includes links to MDS resources.

>>Download it here

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Family Caregiving and Transitional Care: A Critical Review

Posted 1/3/13

This critical review attempts to shine light on transitional care from the perspective of family caregivers, a key but largely unrecognized member of the health care team. The goal is to distill evidence on what is currently known―and what information is still needed―on making family caregivers integral partners with professionals in providing health-related care during transitions across settings, especially hospital to home. It examines the roles family caregivers play in providing care during transitions, how they characterize their experiences and needs for support, and how family caregiver involvement improves outcomes for patients. (Source: Family Caregiver Alliance)

>>Download Review

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The Influence of Social Environmental Factors on Rehospitalization Among Patients Receiving Home Care Services

Posted 1/2/13

As health care costs continue to rise, payers and policy experts search for strategies to manage them. One reasonable strategy to reduce costs is to reduce the number of costly and unnecessary hospitalizations, especially among the Medicare home health care population. Research that has examined contributing factors for rehospitalizations has provided some evidence, but not enough to inform practice and reduce rehospitalization rates. (Source: Advances in Nursing Science, Vol. 35, No. 4, pp. 346-258)

>>Read more.

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Reducing Surgical Site Infection Rates

The SUSP (Surgical Unit-Based Safety Program) is funded through The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to reduce surgical-site infections (SSI) and other surgical complications.




Tools| Resources

Using Evidence-Based Interventions and the Surgical Unit-based Safety Program (SUSP) to Reduce Surgical Site Infections and other Surgical Complications: A National Project to Improve Surgical Outcomes

Surgical Unit-based Safety Program (SUSP): Improving Surgical Care through TRIP and CUSP Frequently Asked Questions

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Network Models Help Hospitals Reduce Readmissions

Posted 10/9/12

On Oct. 2, Kaiser Health News reported that hospitals working together in a network model can reduce readmission rates and help reduce $17.4 billion being paid by Medicare each year for return hospital visits. Denver Health has adopted a care model that drastically reduces readmissions through its own network of neighborhood clinics, which are all linked by a computerized record system.

>>Read more.

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Eric Coleman Named MacArthur Foundation Fellow

Posted 10/4/12

Dr. Coleman, a geriatrician and professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, is director of the Care Transitions Program, which trains nurses and social workers to help patients and their caregivers manage issues like medication use and organizing appointments. He is now part of an eclectic group of people whose lives were recently, and irrevocably, changed with a single telephone call.

>>Read more.

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Safety Without Restraints: One Daughter’s Story

Posted 9/23/12

Minnesota’s Department of Health shares a new practice standard for safe care through one daughter’s story of her mother’s experience in a nursing home.

>> Read more.

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Patients can encourage handwashing

Many doctors and nurses do not like the idea of patients reminding them to clean their hands, according to a new study. However, as  hand hygiene has become a major goal of healthcare facilities, patients should be encouraged to become involved in systemwide changes to promote handwashing. Qsource hand hygiene recommendations are peer-enforced and follow WHO guidelines.

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International Infection Prevention Week

International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW)—Oct. 14-20—is aimed at educating healthcare professionals, healthcare administrators, legislators and consumers about the importance of preventing infections and improving patient outcomes. The event is organized by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (APIC).

Activities for Participation

Use this observance as an opportunity to promote reductions in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), Clostridium difficile and surgical site infections.


Send a Health e-Card to staff members to reinforce the importance of infection prevention by clicking here.




Download APIC’s free, “Infection Prevention and You” materials in English and Spanish: a poster, flyer, and bi-fold and tri-fold brochures by clicking here to view and download the materials.




Download and add this IIPW web button to your website. Download the button here. Follow these steps to use it as a button on your website:

    1. After downloading the image to your computer, upload it to your website and position as desired.
    2. Select the “hyperlink” feature on the now uploaded image.
    3. Hyperlink to
    4. Save and publish the web page.

General Education and Background Resources:

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