Truman Medical Centers Recognized for Quality Improvement Initiatives with CHIME Transformational Leadership Award

Quality initiatives, empowered by information technology, have enabled Truman Medical Centers (TMC) in Kansas City, Mo., to improve care, increase patient safety and reduce unnecessary expenses.

TMC is a participant in the Partnership for Patients, established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), to make hospital care safer, more reliable and less costly. Also, over the past few years, the organization has launched Q6, “Quality to the Sixth Power,” a system wide initiative to drive quality improvement at TMC.

Key executives from both hospitals in TMC, including Senior Vice President and CIO Mitzi Cardenas, joined forces to launch the Q6 initiative, which led to the formation of multidisciplinary committees to drive quality improvement across clinical workflow, IT and business processes using actionable data from the organization’s EHR.

The program, led by CHIME member Cardenas and recently retired President and CEO John W. Bluford, earned the hospital organization the 2014 Transformational Leadership Award today at the CHIME14 Fall CIO Forum in San Antonio, Texas, sponsored by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and the American Hospital Association (AHA).

The CHIME-AHA Transformational Leadership Award honors an organization that has excelled in developing and deploying transformational information technology that improves the delivery of care and streamlines administrative services. The award is given to the organization’s CIO and CEO, who recognize the need for a strong partnership between its technology team and executive leadership.

“It was critical for our organization to establish data-driven processes coupled with action-oriented workflows empowered by the EHR,” Bluford said. “While IT alone is not the solution to optimal medical outcomes, it is a key lever in advancing workflow and enabling real-time decision making, contributing to improved clinical outcomes, administrative efficiency and significant cost avoidance.”

Participating in the CMS Partnership for Patients initiative reinforced TMC’s commitment to providing quality care to its community and served as an actionable guide for dramatically reducing some of the most common never events, as defined by the National Quality Forum, from reaching the patient, including adverse drug events (ADE), venous thromboembolism (VTE) and hospital acquired pressure ulcers (HAPU).

Using data from and the capabilities of its Cerner Corp. Millennium EHR system, TMC has been able to improve a variety of clinical processes:

Using real-time EHR data and order sets, and integrating pharmacists into the care team have reduced ADEs, saving the system money and improving professional satisfaction for pharmacists.

The development of data-driven approach to integrate a variety of interventions has reduced the prevalence of HAPU by 78 percent in TMC. The approach used data from the Cerner system to develop protocols for moving patients to prevent pressure ulcers.

A clinical decision support system for VTE enabled clinicians to make informed decisions at the point of care. In the 27 months after the VTE CDS was implemented, some 48 incidents were avoided, avoiding serious patient consequences; 800 patient days were eliminated and approximately $400,000 in costs were avoided.

“The prevalence of preventable, harmful events like ADEs, HAPUs and VTE make them a nationwide target for reduction,” Cardenas said. “TMC’s ongoing success in preventing these conditions, made possible by its deployment of IT and quality improvement initiatives, stands as an attainable example for other organizations working to prevent these ‘never events’ from reaching the patient.”

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 1,400 CIO members and over 140 healthcare IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. For more information, please visit

About Truman Medical Centers

Truman Medical Centers is a not-for-profit two acute-care hospital health system in Kansas City. The TMC Health System includes TMC Hospital Hill, TMC Lakewood, TMC Behavioral Health, the Jackson County Health Department and a number of primary care practices throughout Eastern Jackson County. Recently named one of the nation’s top academic medical centers, TMC is the primary teaching hospital for the University of Missouri-Kansas City Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Dentistry and specializes in chronic disease management, orthopedics, family medicine, women’s health, and trauma services.

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