A Quick History of the INTERACT Quality Improvement Program

Members | May 28, 2013

The INTERACT quality improvement program includes three types of tools to help avoid unnecessary hospitalizations. Learn about these tools and an upcoming webinar on how to successfully implement INTERACT.

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

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
  • Communication Tools
  • Decision support Tools (Care
  • 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

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.

INTERACT eCurriculum can now be found on Medline

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