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Indian Health Service Initiation of Tribal Consultation Draft Quality Framework

July 21, 2016

Indian Health Service Initiation of Tribal Consultation Draft Quality Framework

Today, the Indian Health Service (IHS) issued a Dear Tribal Leader Letter (click here to see the letter) announcing the development of a draft Quality Framework (click here for the Quality Framework document) to outline key priorities and objectives that focus on strengthening the underlying foundation of the direct service health facilities within the IHS system of care.  IHS is initiating a 60-day Tribal consultation on this draft Framework.

The Framework targets federally operated facilities and centers on five focus areas and objectives:

1.  Strengthen Organizational capacity to improve quality of care any systems

  • Provide leadership in quality
  • Standardize governance
  • Strengthen human resources
  • Standardized data and reporting requirements

2.  Meet and maintain accreditation for IHS direct service facilities

  • Ensure accreditation of IHS direct service facilities
  • Implement annual mock surveys for all IHS direct service facilities
  • Conduct quarterly meetings for survey readiness

3.  Align service delivery processes to improve patient experience

  • Improve the patient experience
  • Improve patient wait times
  • Improve the credentialing process
  • Central repository of policies and procedures

4.  Ensure patient safety

  • Promote a culture of patient safety
  • Enhance patient safety event reporting and identification
  • Strengthen processes for addressing patient safety events
  • Control healthcare associated infections

5.  Improve processes and strengthen communications for early identification of risks

  • Implement a data monitoring system for quality measurement
  • Improve communications throughout the agency

IHS intends to work closely with the Area Offices and direct services facilities to strengthen capacity to provide patient-centered, timely, effective, safe, and reliable health care of the highest quality.  IHS will also be standardizing key processes and policies aimed at improving the patient experience, as well as communicating and engaging with key stakeholders about its progress and activities.

IHS is soliciting comments on its draft policy for 60 days at the following e-mail address:
IHS will also be holding in-person consultation sessions during the following:
August 30, 2016
13th Annual Direct Service Tribes National Meeting & 6th Annual Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Health Board Health Summit
Holiday Inn Rapid City – Rushmore Plaza
505 North Fifth Street
Rapid City, SD 57701
September 19th, 2016
National Indian Health Board’s 33rd Annual National Tribal Health Conference
Talking Stick Resort
9800 E. Talking Stick Way
Scottsdale, AZ 85256
A telephone consultation session will also take place on:
August 15, 2016
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm (Eastern Time)
Code: 6895736
NIHB will provide more information as it becomes available as well as providing technical assistance to Tribes in creating their own comments.  Please contact Devin Delrow, Director of Federal Relations, at ddelrow@nihb.org for more information.  

Last modified: July 21, 2016