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Dr. Joanne Lynn Discusses Improving Care Transitions to Avoid Hospitalizations and Re-hospitalizations (Janurary 23, 2013)

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This 35 minute interview begins with Dr. Lynn describing the work of her Center in addressing how to improve care for the frail elderly.  Dr. Lynn then explains in some detail a three-year quality improvement intervention undertaken by 14 QIOs (Medicare Quality Improvement Organizations) that reduced hospitalizations and re-hospitalizations by almost six percent, i.e., she summarizes today's JAMA-published article she co-authored, "Association Between Quality Improvement for Care Transitions in Communities and Re-hospitaliations Among Medicare Beneficiaries."  Dr. Lynn explains what is "quality improvement" research or moreover how/why it differs from more traditional clinical practice improvement research.  She addresses generalizability in context of QI research, how hospitals may reconcile reduced hospitalizations and rehospitalizations and how this improved care transitions work is being extended via several other federal programs.  Finally, Dr. Lynn discusses how and why we need  to re-engineer health care delivery to create reliable, supportive services, not necessarily medical services, to assist and support an ever increasing population of frail elderly that will experience lenghty periods of disability.  

Dr. Joanne Lynn leads the Center on Elder Care and Advanced Illness for the Altarum Institute.   She previously has served as a consultant to the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as a faculty member of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and a clinical expert in improvement for the Care Transitions project at the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care.  She has also been a senior researcher at RAND and a professor of medicine and community health at Dartmouth Medical School and at The George Washington University. 

Dr. Lynn has published more than 250 professional articles. Her dozen books include The Handbook for Mortals, a guide for the public; The Common Sense Guide to Improving Palliative Care, an instruction manual for clinicians and managers seeking to improve quality; and, Sick to Death and Not Going to Take it Any More!, an action guide for policymakers and advocates.  She is a member of the Institute of Medicine and of the National Academy of Social Insurance, a fellow of the American Geriatrics Society and The Hastings Center, and a master of the American College of Physicians.  She received her MD from Boston University.


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