Project BOOST Expansion Planned


Project BOOST (Better Outcomes for Older Adults through Safer Transitions) is getting, well, a pretty big boost in 2010.

The pilot transitional-care program implemented at 30 sites in the past 18 months pairs SHM mentors with hospitalists to improve care via a discharge planning toolkit. Preliminary plans call for up to 45 additional sites staggered over three cohorts in the next 12 months.

Tina Budnitz, MPH, SHM senior advisor and director of Project BOOST, says the initiative also is working to create a tuition-based model, planning an educational Web-based seminar and standardized “teachback” materials. The BOOST team also is promoting an Internet listserv that hospitalists at the debut sites have used as a communal communication tool.

“It is a big jump,” Budnitz acknowledges. “We think the secret sauce that’s made it work so far will be able to scale.”

Quantifiable data from the first six sites, which were selected for the program in the summer of 2008, could be released this spring. A lack of metrics, however, has done little to stymie the initiative’s growth. Two sites—Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and St. Mary’s Health Center in St. Louis, Mo.—already have won safety awards related to the program.

One of the program’s mentors says the early success can be tied to hospitalists’ commitment to using the toolkit as the basis of a transitional-care upgrade, instead of expecting the program’s presence alone to improve care.

“It’s way more than what is BOOST and ‘how are we going to implement?’ ” says Janet Nagamine, MD, FHM, hospitalist at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara, Calif., SHM board member, and chair of SHM’s Hospital Quality and Patient Safety Committee. “They have really looked at their entire discharge process and done a lot of looking at their individual and specific challenges and how to overcome them.”

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