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A Quick History of the INTERACT Quality Improvement Program

by Published On: May 29, 2013

INTERACT was originally developed in 2006 by Joseph Ouslander, M.D., professor and senior associate dean for Geriatric Programs at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University. 

Dr. Ouslander and his project team began by studying 200 hospitalizations of residents from 20 nursing homes in Georgia to discover factors that contributed to potentially avoidable hospitalizations of residents.

They found that 2/3 of hospitalizations were potentially avoidable for the following reasons:

  • Lack of availability of medical directors, primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants on-site.

  • Inadequate assessment of acute changes in resident status.

  • Lack of ability to initiate or maintain IV fluids at the nursing home.

  • Transfer of residents who may have been more appropriately served with palliative or hospice care at the nursing home.

  • Lack of in-house diagnostics (e.g., X-rays, labs) and access to emergency medications at the nursing home

Developing Quality Improvement Tools

Based on the data they gathered, Dr. Ouslander and his team developed the INTERACT quality improvement program, which includes three types of tools to help avoid unnecessary hospitalizations:

  • Quality Improvement Tools
  • Communication Tools
  • Decision support Tools (Care Paths)
  • Advance Care Planning Tools

Testing the Quality Improvement Tools 

During a 6-month period in 2009, Dr. Ouslander and his team continued their research by refining and testing the INTERACT program at 25 nursing homes in Florida, New York and Massachusetts.

INTERACT is funded by: 

  • National Institute of Nursing Research / National Institute of Health (NINR/NH).
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
  • The Commonwealth Fund.
  • Medline Industries, Inc.
  • PointClickCare.
  • The Patient Centered Outcomes.

The INTERACT eCurriculum can now be found on Medline University.

Medline will host “Learn How to Successfully Implement INTERACT,” a free webinar on Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. Central.


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