UNMC_Acronym_Vert_sm_4c
University of Nebraska Medical Center

Health Equity Quality Improvement

This course is designed to reduce COVID-19 health disparities through quality improvement.

The project's vision is to eliminate health disparities and improve the wellbeing of all Nebraskans.Its mission is to implement statewide cutting-edge programs with the support of tele-mentorship and coaching from highly qualified subject matter experts.

Modules:

  • Health-equity
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • COVID-19 response, infection control, long COVID
  • Quality Improvement

Timeline

Foundational Phase: November 2021 to June 2022

Implementation Phase: June 2022 to February 2023

Evaluation Phase: February-May 2023

Course Description

Achieving health equity, addressing COVID-19 disparities, and improving the health of all Nebraskans using a quality improvement approach are the goals for our newly launched educational initiative. This COVID-19-focused health equity and quality improvement educational series will use the ECHO model for training healthcare workers. The course is being offered through the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) infectious diseases (ID) ECHO program and is funded by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) via a CDC grant.

The educational sessions began Nov. 3, 2021 and the learners meet twice monthly throughout this 18-month project to learn and exchange knowledge on topics that include the principles of infection control, health equity, quality improvement, and cultural sensitivity.

Twice monthly sessions are held via the Zoom platform on the first and third Wednesdays of each month between 12:00 to 1:30 pm CST. The first hour is mandatory for receiving educational credits followed by an optional 30-minute discussion session.

 

Overview

This educational project aims to assist health care workers in identifying COVID-19 health disparities, developing targeted strategies to mitigate those disparities, and implementing quality improvement projects to promote health equity and cultural sensitivity within their practice setting.  

Quality Improvement Project Proposal Form
Agendas
View the first-, second- and third quarter agendas.
Global Objectives

By the end of the ECHO Project, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the relationship of principles of health equity, cultural sensitivity, infection prevention and control, and quality management. 
  • Develop the skill set to address COVID-19-related health disparities and provide quality healthcare with a culturally sensitive, equity-minded approach.
  • Implement a quality improvement project that addresses a need at the facility level related to health disparity or cultural sensitivity.
Health Equity Module Objectives

Upon completion of the health equity module, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the historical and social context for a marginalized community's engagement with health care systems.
  • Explain how COVID-19 and other determinants of health uniquely impact marginalized communities, public health, and health equity.
  • Analyze clinical data sets to assess for health disparities and health equity in clinical outcomes.
  • Leverage community partnerships and stakeholder collaboration to implement health equity initiatives.
  • Implement a health equity-centered COVID-19 vaccine and prevention initiative.
Cultural Sensitivity Module Objectives

Upon completion of the cultural sensitivity module, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss how cultural beliefs and practices shape a persons' interpretation and experience of COVID-19 in terms of the disease, prevention (vaccine/testing), and treatments.
  • Use effective cultural communication strategies when interacting with patients of all cultural backgrounds.
  • Assess your health care facility/staff's COVID-19-related biases, stereotypes, and level of cultural sensitivity.
  • Leverage community partnerships and stakeholder collaboration to implement culturally sensitive practices.
  • Implement a culturally responsive COVID-19 vaccine and prevention initiative.  
COVID-19, Infection Control, and Long COVID Module Objectives

Upon completion of the COVID-19 Infection Control and Long COVID module, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the principles of infection prevention and control (IPC) and the skills required for the successful implementation of IPC programs.
  • Review the long-term complications and management of COVID-19 infection including long COVID.
  • Articulate the role of relevant data collection and analysis for identifying and mitigating IPC-related challenges (e.g., vaccine hesitancy, the reluctance with testing, etc.) for higher risk and historically underserved patient groups, including racial and ethnic minority populations and people living in rural communities.  
  • Discuss changes needed in IPC processes and infectious diseases management approaches for addressing health disparities including inequalities in COVID-19 prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. 
Quality Management Module Objectives

Upon completion of the quality improvement module, participants should be able to:

  • Discuss Quality Improvement (QI) tools best practices when identifying potential solutions to root causes concerning processes involving marginalized population(s) and/or for COVID-19 related interventions.
  • Appraise your current data infrastructure (i.e., data collection tool, data objects, data analysis, data reporting, and data trending) by comparing it to optimal data collection systems that contextualize racial, ethnic, and rural health.
  • Apply team training knowledge and skills with identified partners (e.g., other healthcare providers, patients, community leaders, and organizations) interactions when implementing change and addressing inequities in COVID-19 prevention, diagnosis, and treatment in their communities.  
Funding Disclosure
The program is funded by Nebraska DHHS through a 1.6-million-dollar CDC grant focused on using ECHO learning model for healthcare workers to strengthen capability, capacity, and resilience to respond to COVID-19 and future infectious diseases. Majority (85%) of these funds are directed towards the UNMC ID ECHO project to reduce COVID-19 health disparities through quality improvement. This includes providing training on health equity and cultural competency concepts, quality improvement techniques, infection prevention and control principles, and COVID-19 related long-term healthcare effects with the special focus on outpatient health care settings as well as community-based organizations. Furthermore, UNMC ID ECHO project funding covers free coaching for assisting learners in implementing quality improvement projects to address health disparities in their practice settings as well as reimbursement of quality improvement project related expenses to the learners' organization (limit of $2000 per organization).