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Sep 28, 2015

Laura Adams is the President and CEO of the Rhode Island Quality Institute (RIQI), a center of collaborative innovation that advances health and healthcare transformation. RIQI is the only organization in the nation to win all three of the major HITECH health IT grants which funded CurrentCare (the statewide health information exchange), the RI Regional Extension Center and the RI Beacon Community, bringing in $27M in funding. She was recently appointed to the Governor’s Workgroup on Healthcare Innovation.

Laura served on the ONC’s HIT Policy Committee’s Governance Panel for the Nationwide Health Information Network. She is a member of the Health Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) Center for Patient and Family Centered Care Advisory Group and chaired the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Planning Committee for the “Digital Infrastructure for Population Health and a Learning Healthcare System” workshop series.

Laura led the governance consulting for the Improving Performance in Practice (IPIP) Initiative, a RWJF-funded collaboration among the American Board of Medical Specialties, and the Boards and Societies of Internal Medicine, Family Physicians and Pediatrics. She traveled in the U.S. and Europe with W. Edwards Deming in the study of statistical-based quality improvement. She was Founder, President and CEO of Decision Support Systems, a New York-based company specializing in Internet-based healthcare decision support.

Laura has been a faculty member of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in Boston since its inception. She directed the IHI Idealized Design of the Intensive Care Unit project and served as faculty in the VHA’s ICU improvement collaborative. She was among the first to bring the principles of healthcare QI to the Middle East, in conjunction with Donald Berwick, MD and the Harvard Institute for Social and Economic Policy in the Middle East. She served as IHI faculty at the inaugural IHI Middle East Forum on Quality Improvement in Healthcare in Doha, Qatar in 2013.

Her publications include co-authoring with Gustafson, et al, Developing & Testing a Model to Predict Outcomes of Organizational Change, Health Services Research, 38(2), 751-776 and co-authoring “Collaborating with Consumers to Advance Health Knowledge and Improve Practice” Herzlinger, R, Consumer-Driven Health Care: Implications for Providers, Payers and Policymakers, 2004. She also co-authored “A Draft Framework for Measuring Progress Towards the Development of a National Health Information Infrastructure, BMC Medical Informatics Decision Making, June, 2005.   Laura co-authored “Improving comfort and communication in the ICU: a practical new tool for palliative care performance measurement and feedback”, Nelson, J., Mulkerin, C., Adams, L. and Pronovost, P.; Quality and Safety in Health Care (QSHC), Aug 2006. She co-authored with Peter Pronovost, MD, in The Rhode Island ICU Collaborative: A Model for Reducing CLABSI and Ventilator-associated Pneumonia Statewide, QSHC, 2010;19:555-561.   She also co-authored publication with M. Vigorito and B. Sexton entitled Collaborative Improvement in Sepsis Identification & Treatment, JQPS, Vol. 37, No. 11, Nov. 2011.

RIQI won the 2013 National Council for Community Behavioral Health Excellence Award for Impact in serving those with behavioral health and substance abuse challenges. Laura has received citations from the RI Congressional delegation for her visionary leadership and contributions to improving the healthcare system in Rhode Island. She received University of Northern Colorado’s Distinguished Alumni award and in 2014, RIQI was named RI’s Most Innovative Company in Healthcare by the Providence Business News.

00:00 Laura explains the mission of the Rhode Island Quality Institute (RIQI).
00:30 Laura explains what the general concept of a Health Information Exchange is--one of the services provided by the RIQI.
03:00 The issues with the uptake of Health Information Exchanges.
04:30 “What business are we in? We want to share that information because patient’s lives depend on it.”
06:15 The tragedy of the commons in relation to Health Information Exchanges.
08:50 Why transparency is important to the RIQI.
09:10 “The only power we have is the power of vision.”
10:20 The balance between the financial incentive to hoard data and the moral incentive to save lives by sharing data.
11:40 The payment for value system, and how this is encouraging providers to share their data instead of hoarding it.
13:30 The improvements that Laura has observed from active Health Information Exchange.
15:00 Laura explains the dashboard system that RIQI has developed, and the alerts that this system provides for Nurse Care Managers.
17:00 How RIQI is expanded this alert system to extend to patients and their families.
23:50 How patients would be able to upload their own information into the Health Information Exchange.
26:45 Advanced Directives and other information gaps that only patients are able to provide.
29:00 How RIQI’s Health Information Exchange system sifts efficiently through an immense amount of data.
33:30 How RIQI is connecting their Health Information Exchange system with their major providers one at a time.
37:45 You can find out more at or by emailing Laura directly at