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Quality Improvement Collaboratives and Awards

AzHHA Quality Awards:

In 2023, AzHHA established the AzHHA Quality Awards to celebrate and recognize Arizona’s leaders committed to advancing healthcare through exceptional quality performance, community engagement and a culture of continuous improvement. The outstanding achievements of the winners is recognized annually at an awards luncheon at the Arizona Hospital Leadership Conference.

Submissions are now closed for the 2024 AzHHA Quality Awards. Thank you to everyone who applied. The awards will be presented at the Quality Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2024, at the 2024 Arizona Hospital Leadership Conference. 

Learn more.

Hospital Quality Improvement Contractor (HQIC):
In May 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a request to its Network of Quality Improvement and Innovation Contractors (NQIIC) for proposals to support a new initiative called the Hospital Quality Improvement Contractor (HQIC). Pronounced "H-quick," this four-year effort was designed to support rural and critical access hospitals, as well as hospitals serving vulnerable populations. CMS invited over 2,600 hospitals nationwide, including 38 hospitals in Arizona, to participate in this collaborative project until September 2024.

AzHHA is collaborating with Cynosure to facilitate healthcare transformation in our state by identifying, utilizing, and disseminating evidence-based practices and improvement science. Cynosure has a team of subject matter experts, including physicians, nurses and pharmacists, with whom AzHHA has previously collaborated on other quality improvement programs like HEN and HIIN. The clinical experts at Cynosure have a proven track record of promptly identifying factors that hinder progress and formulating action plans based on their in-depth knowledge of the literature, emerging evidence and best practices. This enables them to effectively translate quality and patient safety concepts into practical skills.

HQICs throughout the country are supporting participating hospitals in identifying goals, adapting and testing best-practices, and achieving measurable improvements in high-priority healthcare challenges. The following goals are aligned with the CMS Rural Health Strategy:
• Improve behavioral health outcomes, with a focus on decreased opioid misuse
• Increase patient safety with a focus on reduction of harm (similar to HIIN)
• Increase the quality of care transitions with a focus on high utilizers

Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP):
The Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP) is a quality improvement activity under the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) program, administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP). The primary objective of MBQIP is to enhance the quality of care delivered in critical access hospitals (CAHs) by promoting increased quality data reporting and subsequently driving quality improvement initiatives based on that data. This project offers individual hospitals an opportunity to analyze their own data, compare their outcomes with other CAHs, and collaborate with other hospitals in the state to implement quality improvement initiatives aimed at achieving better outcomes and delivering the highest quality care to all patients.

The Arizona Center for Rural Health (AzCRH) actively supports this endeavor through the FLEX program and has entered into a contract with the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association to provide comprehensive support and technical assistance for the project.

For more information, including details on your hospital’s eligibility to participate in our quality improvement collaboratives, contact AzHHA’s Care Improvement team via email at [email protected] or by calling 602-445-4300.