2019 All 4 States Staff

As you may have heard, the Great Plains Quality Innovation Network is part of the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) program, funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). At this time, CMS is working to identify priority areas for the QIO program going forward. Therefore, we have entered a transition period.

We will continue to work as the Quality Innovation Network – Quality Improvement Organization in a limited capacity during the transition period. We anticipate the next contract cycle to begin late Summer/early Fall. We will have a team of quality improvement members available to assist during this interim. We are currently in the process of identifying education and resources that will assist the healthcare provider community in preparation. We hope to communicate more on specific offerings in the coming weeks.

As we look forward to new challenges and opportunities, we reflect on the successes and improvements made over the past five years. We look forward to sharing our team members’ responses to questions related to our work, partnerships and contributions over the next few weeks:

Can You Share a Community Success Story?

Holly Arends, CHSP, CMQP, Program Manager for Great Plains Quality Innovation Network“I would love to offer an example. The Huron Clinic LTD has made significant improvements in their efforts to improve cardiac health. They have moved the needle on their blood pressure control measure from below 60 percent to above 80 percent. They have initiated the Self-Measured Blood Pressure Monitoring (SMBP) program and have gained new patients by partnering with the local food processing plant to offer blood pressures screenings on the worksite. It has been great to see their dedication and perseverance in this work.” – Holly Arends, CMQP, CHSP

“We partnered with a Critical Access Hospital (CAH) that did not have a Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) program in place so they had to refer their patients elsewhere to receive DSME. We trained their staff on the Diabetes Empowerment Education Program (DEEP) curriculum and collaborated with the North Dakota Department of Health to provide technical assistance to help them develop an accredited DSME program at their facility. Their staff successfully achieved accreditation, and they currently continue to offer free DEEP community classes and individual DSME as appropriate for the patients in the community. By partnering with us, this CAH was able to develop internal expertise on diabetes education and expand that to be able to offer a new service at their facility.” ~ Lisa Thorp, BSN, RN, CDE

Cheri Fast, RN, BSN, WOCN, program manager for Great Plains QIN- SD“The Huron Community Antibiotic stewardship project showed success in reduction of antibiotics prescribed, but more importantly, antibiotics are continuing to decline. The first year data showed a 28 percent reduction and after 1.5 years, the data shows a continued reduction of 33 percent. This shows what a community can do when they work together for a common goal. Whoop! Whoop!” – Cheri Fast, RN


We recently published a Q&A Session with CMS Program Leaders as they reflected on the progress made and the evolution they see ahead—for the QIO Program. Read more.

We thank you for your partnership, your commitment to quality and your continued efforts to improve care. Also, we thank you for your patience and support as we navigate through this transition period. We will continue to share news, updates and resources in the coming weeks. If you have questions or anything we can assist with in the interim, please contact a member of our team.