achia cqi“Which measures should primary care practices prioritize in the next five years to improve health outcomes for children and youth?”

To answer that question, ACHIA’s partners, including UAB and Children's of Alabama, weighed the impact and feasibility of more than 100 health measures during a year-long process guided by the UAB School of Public Health. 

From the measures list, three were determined to provide the best opportunities for improvement:

  • Asthma
  • Adolescent Well Child Visits
  • Developmental Screening

ACHIA’s 2018-2020 quality improvement learning collaboratives will tackle these topics. The collaboratives incorporate the Model for Improvement, run over 9 months and provide Part 4 MOC and CME.  Practices complete online modules taught by Alabama experts; benefit from QI coaching; and share best practices with one another on monthly webinars.

Interested in partnering with ACHIA to work with engaged practices on these health topics? 

Contact Cason Benton, MD, FAAP

Interested in participating in the 2018 Asthma collaborative?

Contact Linda Champion,


More information on Continuous Quality Improgement Collaborative: 
The Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance (ACHIA) is enrolling practices in a learning collaborative to improve screening and referrals for children at risk of delays, autism, and behavioral concerns.
Which practices should enroll?
  • Practices that want to start screening.
  • Practices that want to increase screening consistency.
  • Practices that want to switch screens from a paper to an electronic format.
Additional benefits include MOC Part IV and the Ages and Stages Developmental Screening Tool ($295 value).
The collaborative will run from January to September 2017. Enrollment is through December 31, 2016.
Contact or click here to learn more.
While only 25 percent of Alabama’s children are appropriately screened for developmental delay, 11 practices from across the state tripled developmental screening to 96 percent and nearly doubled autism screening to 91 percent over the course of a nine month quality improvement learning collaborative lead by the Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance (ACHIA). Moreover, these practices reliably referred at-risk children to further evaluations and support such as Early Intervention and Help Me Grow. Practices in the Tuscaloosa area incorporated social-emotional screening to link children in need with behavioral resources piloted by Project LAUNCH. UAB staff involved in the ACHIA collaborative included: Myriam Peralta-Carcelen, M.D., FAAP, collaborative content expert; Justin Schwartz, M.D., FAAP,  guest speaker; and Cason Benton, M.D., FAAP was the course director and QI coach. Click here for an overview of the collaborative.
Every continuous quality improvement collaborative has a story.  The Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance (ACHIA) has developed a one-page “360” to quickly tell the improvement story for its Healthy Active Living and Help Me Grow Alabama collaboratives:  why the topic is important, who participated, what improved, as well as lessons learned.  Check them out here and here!

In other ACHIA news:
- Prevent HPV Cancers Today! An ACHIA HPV QI Collaborative, presented in conjunction with the Alabama Chapter-AAP, the Alabama Academy of Family Physicians, and the Alabama Department of Public Health, gets underway this month.  It is ACHIA’s largest collaborative yet with 11 practices and 59 pediatricians and family physicians from across Alabama participating.
- “The Big Sort”:  All health issues for children are important—but what are the most critical issues for Alabama child healthcare providers to prioritize in the next few years?  Asthma? ADHD? Screening for delay? The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health is leading ACHIA partners and others interested in child health in a process to sort and prioritize health topics.  The results will be used to channel energies for future ACHIA collaboratives and other continuous quality improvement endeavors.  At the Chapter’s Spring Meeting at the end of April, we will present more information about the sort process and how members can participate.
As part of its ongoing efforts to serve as a leader in cancer prevention and control, the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center has led the establishment of a coalition of organizations from across Alabama to address barriers and improve human papilloma virus vaccination rates in the state. Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance (ACHIA) is a proud participant of this coalition. 

Cervical cancer is the only cancer that can be prevented through vaccination, yet HPV vaccination rates remain low. In 2014, data from the Alabama Department of Public Health showed there are significantly low rates of HPV vaccination among teens living in Alabama. Only 39 percent of adolescent girls in Alabama, between 13 and 17 years old, have received all three doses of the HPV vaccine, and only 9 percent of adolescent boys in Alabama have received the vaccine.

What are the health care areas most important for practices providing care to Alabama’s children and adolescents to improve in the next 3-5 years?  That is the question ACHIA’s partners and guests will tackle at the Alabama Q-Sort on July 27, 2016. 

Should providers improve: the number of children being seen for well child visits? asthma care? obesity prevention and treatment? adolescent depression screening? Screening for developmental delays? delivery of HPV and other vaccinations?  or perhaps some other area? 

Through a Q-Sort of Quality measures lead by the University of Alabama School of Public Health, ACHIA partners and guests will assess which of these topics have the greatest need and the greatest ability to be improved at the practice level in the next few years.  The results will be reported out in Fall 2016 and will provide the foundation for ACHIA to marshall resources to support practices around the state as they tackle continuous quality improvement.

If you would like more information about the Alabama Q-sort, contact Cason Benton.
CaptureThe Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance (ACHIA) recently published its first newsletter. Click here to read about current quality improvement initiatives, collaborative outcomes and more. This edition highlights pediatricians and family physicians across Alabama decreasing their patients’ risk of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) related cancers through the Prevent HPV Cancers Today! collaborative, as well as, the Healthy Active Living (HAL) collaborative and Help Me Grow Alabama. Check it out!
The Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance, in partnership with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of eLearning and Professional Studies and the UAB Division of Continuing Medical Education, has become the first organization in Alabama to offer performance improvement continuing medical education for exclusively practice-based physicians through its current developmental screening project, Help Me Grow/Project LAUNCH.

Unlike CME lectures, PI CME-approved activities are based on a learner’s participation in a three-stage project in which a physician: identifies an education need through a measure of his or her performance in practice, engages in education experiences to meet the need, integrates learning into patient care, and re-evaluates his or her performance.

ACHIA, which helps pediatric providers improve child health quality, recently developed an online quality improvement, or QI, collaborative that allows practice-based pediatricians and their nursing staffs to earn 20 CME credits as they abstract and review data, hold practice QI meetings, perform PI activities, and make sustainable practice changes to increase rates of developmental screening and referral of children with developmental delays.

With a goal of aligning Alabama child health quality improvement initiatives under one sustainable umbrella, ten Alabama organizations have collaborated to establish a formal state child health improvement partnership (IP), the Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance (ACHIA), which was accepted last month as a member of the National Improvement Partnership Network.

“In order to improve health outcomes for Alabama children, there is a need for a public-private child health improvement partnership that builds on existing efforts to provide quality child health care and brings in key partners such as universities, health care providers, health systems, government agencies, children’s advocacy groups, and health plans,” said Wes Stubblefield, MD, FAAP, Quality Improvement Chair for the Alabama Chapter-American Academy of Pediatrics (ALAAP).

In addition to an existing developmental screening project, ACHIA’s first initiative is the launch of a child obesity quality improvement collaborative this summer for primary care practices.