Anna O'Brien, MPH

Quality Improvement Advisor
Anna O'Brien

What is your role in SNE-PTN?

I have been a quality improvement advisor (QIA) with the Southern New England Practice Transformation Network since September 2016. Right now, I am working with 16 primary care and specialty practices, including the Vision Source network to help them adapt to the changing healthcare environment by supporting their transformation, integrate evidence-based practice and establish/sustain efficient and effective care delivery.

Why is the QPP program and MIPS a key part of SNE-PTN?

My arrival at SNE-PTN coincided with the release of CMS’ Quality Payment Program final rule.  Since then, our internal workgroup – the QPPers – has been helping our SNE-PTN participants develop practice –specific strategies to help them succeed in Transition Year 2017. Our series of three introductory webinars and a comprehensive tool kit help the QIA staff have those important planning and strategy conversations with SNE-PTN participants.   Our practices are appreciative that SNE-PTN participation will help them meet MIPS Improvement Activity requirements.

What is your previous experience in quality improvement?

The Masters of Public Health at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice from which I graduated in 2014 included a capstone project where I was able to apply quality improvement methodologies in a community-based environment.  My Capstone QI plan targeted reducing opioid use and abuse on Cape Cod. After graduation, I was a member of the Quality Performance team for a major EHR vendor where I supported data collection for our clients’ internal quality programs, payer quality incentive programs, and programs associated with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.   One of my most interesting assignments was working with a national health network to assist them in creating their internal quality reporting program.

What is your favorite part about working with SNE-PTN?

Working with my practices!  It is so rewarding to provide an external perspective and help practice staff identify opportunities for improvement. Practices are motivated to provide the best possible care for their patients!  It is very satisfying to help them collect, organize, retrieve and interpret data and experience the benefits of using data to drive changes in care delivery firsthand. 

How did you become interested in working in healthcare?

During my stint as a high school candy striper, I learned that my interests were more aligned with health care delivery than direct patient care.  The Health Management and Policy major at the University of New Hampshire was a perfect fit!  I was able to apply what I learned in my undergraduate program to in my first position as an Ambulatory Services Representative at a hospital based pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery practice.