Health and Human Services > Indian Health Service > Improving Patient Care
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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IPC Collaboratives

Overview/Background

The Improving Patient Care (IPC) Collaborative is part of the overall IPC Program. The Collaborative is an intensely focused improvement effort during which organizations work together to bring about positive change. Through a focus on preventive care, the prevention and management of chronic diseases, patient experience, and building internal improvement capability, organizations in the collaborative enhance the quality of and access to care.

This opportunity is intended for

All I/T/U organizations that are interested in building improvement capacity and working collaboratively with others to accelerate learning and positive change.

Areas of focus

The IPC collaborative organizations work toward organizational transformation by using a framework for change and a proven change method. The framework guides improvements in empanelment and continuity of care, care management and coordination, patient self-management support, and care team functioning. Organizations use a detailed measurement strategy to assess the impact of their changes and to identify additional opportunities for improvement.

Activities will include

“Prework” Period
The IPC Collaborative starts with a 10-week prework period that prepares sites for the more intense and accelerated process of the collaborative. Weekly teleconferences and assignments occur during this period. Prework is aimed at developing each site’s improvement team, assessing processes and experience of care, identifying the care team and panel of patients with which to test the Care Model change ideas on a small scale, and developing the capacity to use frequent measurement to guide improvement.

Action Period
The work of the collaborative is structured around action periods, during which the teams actively test changes by using the Model for Improvement. The action periods are anchored by one-hour, web-based teleconferences held every two weeks, during which topics critical to the improvement work are discussed. The improvement team coordinator, and as many team members as possible, join these web-based calls.

Learning Sessions
These intensive 2-3-day meetings are scheduled every 2 - 3 months, bringing together the Collaborative’s improvement teams and the expert faculty to exchange ideas. Learning sessions are typically 3- half-day, web-based teleconferences that offer the opportunity for many more team members and community members to attend.

Measures
Organizations are expected to submit monthly reports which include a narrative summary as well as data on collaborative measures in improving the quality of care, improving access to care and the patient experience of care.

Timeframe

To join IPC, organizations submit an application. The application process begins approximately 2 months before the prework. After completing the 10-week prework period, participating organizations will work together for 15 months to make significant improvements in the collaborative areas of focus and accelerate the journey towards organizational transformation.

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