Christiana Care Health System Care Link Services project leader Tabassum Salam, M.D., FACP, CHCQM, received the American Board of Quality Assurance & Utilization Review Physicians 2017 CHCQM Diplomate Achievement Award.
Christiana Care Care Link Services provides an outstanding example of an IT-enabled care coordination system, the organization’s board said in a January announcement of honor.
In its notification letter to Dr. Salam, the board praised Care Link for a litany achievements aimed at improving population health, including:
- Developing clinical pathways to standardize the treatment of surgical patients while integrating data exchange into clinical workflow.
- Leveraging data with predictive modeling into reductions in length of stay, enabling more patients to return directly home after surgery, and reduced readmissions.
- Robust interprofessional care coordination and discharge planning.
- Practical interaction with the Delaware and Maryland health information networks.
“Patient care innovations under Dr. Salam’s leadership make the impressive work at Christiana Care a benchmark for the rest of the nation,” the board wrote.
“The development of the IT innovations for population health management contributed greatly to the success of patients who underwent knee and hip replacement surgery in this project,” Dr. Salam observed. Aligned with Christiana Care’s mission, Dr. Salam said, the Care Link team found that, “in addition to the technological advances, we did not forget to emphasize the building of relationships with patients, their families and their circle of care.”
“Our team has a much more rounded view of our patients’ clinical progress and social and personal needs, and this in turn allows us to guide them to recovery in a far more streamlined manner, while minimizing unnecessary, wasteful clinical activity. We have been able to seamlessly expand this model to the care of other progressively larger and geographically distributed populations in our state.”
The award selection panel and association board members felt that Dr. Salam’s project, “incorporated all of the elements of a model quality project … integrated health IT into clinical outcomes … and set a stage for addressing the needs for population health and for implementing [the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act].”
Dr. Salam is a board-certified internal medicine physician who has been with Christiana Care Health System for over 15 years. She has spent many years as a clinician-educator and associate director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program. In this role, she has practiced in both inpatient and outpatient clinical settings and educated resident physicians and medical students. She is a senior physician advisor for population health, leading and orchestrating population health management projects.
As medical director of Christiana Care Care Link Services, she leads a care coordination team of nurses, pharmacists and social workers who care for large populations throughout Delaware. The Care Link team focuses on improving health outcomes and optimizing utilization of health care services in the populations it cares for. Dr. Salam also serves as the governor of the Delaware Chapter of the American College of Physicians.