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Program Might Improve Health Care

April 12, 2005 – Hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies in the Virgin Islands are working with Virgin Islands Medical Institute to improve the quality of care they provide. VIMI is under contract with Medicare to offer quality improvement assistance to these healthcare providers.
"Making a decision about hospital care for yourself or a loved one can be a very difficult decision," said Dr. Cora Christian, medical director of VIMI, the quality improvement organization for the Virgin Islands. "Choosing the hospital is not an issue because of where we live, but it is reassuring to know that the quality of care in our hospitals is comparable with those on the mainland," she continued.
VIMI works through on-site training, educational seminars and literature, and promoting best practices to improve quality of care.
"Remember, people are in the business of wanting to give good healthcare. There are barriers of funding, personnel and management. We don't take over, we guide them," said Christian, adding, "We are extremely pleased to be working with our hospitals on this voluntary initiative."
In addition to the quality of care initiative, a new resource from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Hospital Quality Alliance provides instant, objective, easy to use and free information about the quality of hospital care in the Virgin Islands.
Hospital Care, a Web-based initiative, rates hospitals based on how they treat certain medical conditions, including heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia. To access this information, visit www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov, or www.medicare.gov and select "Compare Hospitals in Your Area," or call 1-800-MEDICARE.
"We, at the Virgin Islands Medical Institute encourage our Medicare beneficiaries and indeed all residents to use Hospital Compare as a starting point to help you make health care decisions," said Christian.

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