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SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Special Treatment and Research (STAR) Health Center

STAR Health Center (SHC)

Quality Improvement

Staying ahead of the curve

The SHC prides itself on providing the very best care across all services. To ensure we are able to do this, our staff has received extensive training on quality management and involvement of consumers, and we continue to participate in cross-site evaluation efforts so we can measure our performance against similar institutions. Examples of SHC include:

  • HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Collaborative on Improving Care for People Living with HIV Disease
  • Self-Management Training Program provided by Standford University School of Medicine (included training of staff and peer educators)
  • Monthly New York State Department of Health Quality Learning Network meetings
  • HIVQUAL, a HRSA-sponsored national project to build capacity and capability among Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part C and Part D grantees to sustain quality improvement.

the Quality Improvement Program

photo of glass award

This ongoing training and interagency participation has led to the development of a productive framework for a comprehensive multi-disciplinary quality improvement (QI) program led by one of our primary care providers. Every month 60 medical records are reviewed for 40 specific indicators related to primary care, obstetrical care, nursing, mental health, substance abuse, treatment adherence, nutrition, and case management services. If any indicator is not within 10% of the target goal, an action plan for improvement is implemented. Consumers (peer educators and community advisory group members) have specifically contributed to the QI program by developing and managing the patient satisfaction survey process, participating in the development and promotion of patient self management, and by the development of the buddy program to encourage patient adherence and maintenance in care. The SHC QI program has proven successful as indicated by the following:

  • The SHC experience in ensuring superb quality of care to women has been used as a model by the NYSDOH AIDS Institute. Dr. Jack DeHovitz was acknowledged in the NYSDOH AIDS Institute's 2000 edition of the publication, Promoting GYN CARE for HIV-Infected Women - Best Practices in New York State.
  • SHC received the 2008 Achievement in Quality Improvement Award from the New York State AIDS Institute for its impressive gynecological and colposcopy QI projects.
  • HIVQUAL data indicates that SHC exceeds the national average on multiple indicators. Several examples from 2006 (the latest year data was released) are indicated below:

Quality Indicators SHC
National Average
Viral load >100K and on HAART 100 81
CD4 < 200 and on HAART 100 93
Unstable patients managed appropriately 100 49
Annual PAP test 92 71