Panel management processes have been used to help improve population-level care and outreach to patients outside the health care system. Opportunities to resolve gaps in preventive care are often missed when patients present outside of primary care settings but still within the larger health care system. We hypothesized that we could design a process of “inreach” capable of resolving care gaps traditionally addressed solely in primary care settings. Our aim was to identify and resolve gaps in vaccinations and screening for lead exposure for children within our primary care registry aged 2 to 66 months who were admitted to the hospital. We sought to increase care gaps closed from 12% to 50%.
We formed a multidisciplinary team composed of primary care and hospital medicine physicians, nursing leadership, and quality improvement experts within the Division of General and Community Pediatrics. The team identified a smart aim, mapped the process, predicted failure modes, and developed a key driver diagram. We identified, tested, and implemented multiple interventions related to role assignment, identification of admitted patients with care gaps, and communication with the inpatient teams.
After increasing the reliability of our process to identify and contact the hospital medicine team caring for patients who needed action to 88%, we observed an increase in the preventive care gaps closed from 12% to 41%.
A process to help improve preventive care for children can be successfully implemented by using quality improvement methodologies outside of the traditional domains of primary care.