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Three Finalists Named for $100,000 Population Health Prize

Hearst Health and the Jefferson College of Population Health announced three finalists for the Hearst Health Prize in achievements in effective Population Health

Hearst Health Prize of $100,000 down to three finalists

Source: Thinkstock

By Thomas Beaton

- Hearst Health and the Jefferson College of Population Health have announced the final three organizations vying for the $100,000 Hearst Health Prize for population health management achievements.

The three finalists include the American Heart Association/Stroke Association, the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC) at Stanford University, and Intermountain Healthcare.

“One of our primary goals for the Hearst Health Prize is to generate widespread awareness for extraordinary accomplishments in the field of population health and advance the peer-reviewed body of work,” Gregory Dorn, MD, MPH, president of Hearst Health said. “All three finalists’ programs are making significant progress against enormous healthcare challenges.”

The AHA's "Target: Stroke" initiative aimed to increase the number of patients eligible to receive tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) to protect the brain from the impacts of stroke. The AHA enrolled more than 1200 US hospitals into "Target: Stroke."

"Every year 795,000 Americans have a stroke," the AHA said. "It is the fifth leading cause of death in the US and the number one cause of preventable disability. What matters most in the protection of the brain from disability is time. "

"Target: Stroke" has lowered in-hospital mortality as well as long-term disability. Participating hospitals also lowered door-to-needle times for administering tPA to within 60 minutes.

Meanwhile, the CMQCC partnered with stakeholders across the state of California to lead a series of care quality improvement initiatives. These initiatives drove a 55 percent decline in maternal mortality from 2006 to 2015, equating to 9.6 fewer deaths per 100,000 live births.

CMQCC also helped 126 hospitals in the California Partnership for Maternal Safety Collaborative reduce severe maternal morbidity by 20.8 percent between 2014 to 2016. By comparison, 48 other hospitals in California not part of the initiative only saw a 1.2 percent reduction.

"CMQCC’s mission is to reduce preventable maternal mortality and morbidity, and reduce racial-ethnic disparities in birth outcomes," the CMQCC said. "Through a series of data-driven quality improvement projects, CMQCC’s work contributed to a significant decline in maternal mortality in California at a time when US rates doubled.”

The third finalist, Intermountain Healthcare, created its Mental Health Integration Program to embed mental health screening and treatment within selected specialty practices.  The project uses team-based approaches to help patients and their families manage their mental and physical health.

The team-based model had higher rates of active depression screening (46 vs. 24.1 percent), adherence to diabetes care bundles (24.6 vs. 19.5 percent, and documentation of self-care plans (48.4 vs. 8.7 percent) than traditional care strategies. Patients in the team-based care model also experienced fewer visits for medical issues.  

The finalists were graded on four major criteria, including the use of evidence-based interventions to improve quality of care, measurable population health impact, scalability and sustainability, promotion of engagement, and innovation.

“We received a wealth of submissions from hospitals and health systems, academic medical centers, community organizations, nonprofits, healthcare technology companies and health departments across the US,” David B. Nash, MD, and Dean of Jefferson College said. “It has been very exciting to see the breadth of these population health programs, learn about their impact and share these insights."


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