ECQIP Your Team for Sustainable Quality Improvement

If you're tired of stand-alone quality improvement trainings that don't improve patient outcomes, it's time to ECQIP yourself. If you're looking for ways to engage a leadership team with your organization in support of sustainable change, it's time to ECQIP yourself.  

What is ECQIP?

altECQIP stands for ECHO/Collaborative Quality Improvement Project. ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is a proven model for interactive distance learning. Collaboratives are a proven approach to supporting multiple organizations in implementing sustainable quality improvements. The ECQIP model will bring together two proven models for distance learning and process improvement – ECHO and the Collaborative Model for Improvement. The aim of this project is to assist participating health centers to reach their self-determined quality improvement goal(s) by December 2017.

ECQIP Will Jump-Start Your Quality Improvement Efforts

ECQIP contains several elements that are critical for successful quality improvement efforts:

  • Sustained effort to improve a specific measure over time
  • Regular monitoring of that measure to assess the impact of practice changes
  • A change model that is consistently applied and widely understood
  • A team-based approach where everyone knows their role
  • A process-oriented approach that analyzes all elements of a patient visit and other patient contacts
  • A power in learning and improving together, across health centers   

Why is Cervical Cancer Screening the Focus?

Our first ECQIP project will focus on cervical cancer screening (CCS). According to the American Cancer Society, cervical cancer cases diagnosed at a localized stage have a 93% survival rate; however, when diagnosed at distant stage, the percentage of survival drops to 15% at five years. Unfortunately, only 20% of cases reported in SD were diagnosed at localized stage compared to 46% nationally. 


ECQIP Trainings

  • AIM HIGH: Model for Improvement Overview webinar recording and slides are now available.
    The Model for Improvement is a simple, yet powerful approach to achieving rapid and significant improvements in care delivery and outcomes. This overview focused on three key questions that can help drive your quality improvement work:
    1) What are we trying to accomplish?
    2) How will we know that a change is an improvement?
    3) What change can we make that will result in improvement?

  • The January 25, 2017 Welcome to ECQIP audio recording and slide deck.
  • In an ECHO series, participants log on to a live video conference platform where they interact with content experts and other participants in the learning community. The ECHO Learning Series Schedule is as follows (every session will be 12:30 P.M. - 1:30 P.M. CST):
    • February 1, 2017 - Identifying Patients for Screening with Cindy McDade, Director of Quality Improvement, Sunrise Community Health
      • Describe how to use tools such as EMR, registry, or others to identify patients who need to be screened
      • Describe how altering their policies/procedures could result in more efficient or comprehensive identification of patients to be screened
      • Reflect on how things are being done currently in their clinic
      • Identify opportunities to improve upon their current practices
      • Click here for the slide deck
      • Click here for the recorded presentation
    • February 15, 2017 - Maximizing the Team (Part I) with Jacqueline Miller, Medical Director, CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program
      • Describe how to use personnel at the top of their credentials to improve screening procedures (including appointment scheduling, rooming, etc.)
      • Describe how altering their policies/procedures could result in more efficient or effective screening procedures
      • Reflect on current workflow and personnel roles in their clinic
      • Identify opportunities to maximize their team members in an effort to improve screening rates
      • Click here for the slide deck
      • Click here for the recorded presentation
    • March 1, 2017 - Maximizing the Team (Part II) with Jacqueline Miller, Medical Director, CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program
    • March 15, 2017 - Patient Communication with Jane Lose, RN, MSN, ANP, CNM, Associate Medical Director of Women's Services, Metro Community Provider Network
      • Define trauma-informed care
      • Describe how to take a trauma-informed and culturally competent approach to communicating with patients about cervical cancer screening
      • Identify key patient education resources on cervical cancer screening
      • Identify opportunities to improve patient communication strategies within their own clinic
      • Click here for the slide deck
      • Click here for the recorded presentation

ECQIP Toolkit

Click here for a comprehensive toolkit to support your ECQIP efforts!


We believe data is one way to measure the needs and success of a project. CHAD is creating an online data entry platform for ECQIP’s quarterly CCS data reporting. This information will be benchmarked against peers as selected by each Health Center. CMS124v5 is proposed as the calendar year 2017 UDS measure. This alignment allows for greater power for CCS quality tracking and improvement. 

Measure Description: Percentage of women 21-64 years of age who were screened for cervical cancer using either of the following criteria: 

  • Women age 21-64 who had cervical cytology performed every 3 years 
  • Women aged 30-64 who had cervical cytology/human papillomavirus (HPV) co-testing performed every 5 years

Measure Steward: National Committee for Quality Assurance

Additional proposed 2017 measure information found here.

Additional Information and Resources:











Practice Coaching

Practice coaching can improve many aspects of primary care. With this in mind, a few partner organizations have offered their expertise by providing staff as Practice Coaches. CHAD is grateful to these partners for bringing these valuable perspectives to ECQIP’s CCS QI efforts. Please see What Works for Health for an evidence-base for practice coaching within ECQIP.

If you’re interested in being an ECQIP Practice Coach, please contact

Special Recognition 

The ECQIP Advisory Group brings partners together for collaborative planning and use of resources on the shared goal of increasing CCS rates. The Advisory Group members are:  

  • Jen Anderson, Clinical Programs Director, Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States
  • Shannon Bacon, Health Systems Manager, American Cancer Society
  • Brenda Burnett, Clinical Quality Director, Wyoming Primary Care Association
  • Chastity Dolbec, Director of Patient Care & Innovation, Coal Country Community Health Center
  • Tara Gill, Project Manager, HealthPOINT
  • Colette Hesla, Clinical Quality Specialist, Community HealthCare Association of the Dakotas
  • Mary Hoffman, Director of Training & Operations, Community HealthCare Association of the Dakotas
  • Billie Jo Nelson, Quality Improvement Director, Family HealthCare Center
  • Janna Pastir, Program Director, North Dakota Department of Health Comprehensive Cancer Control
  • Lexi Pugsley, Coordinator, South Dakota Department of Health Comprehensive Cancer Control Program/All Women Count!
  • Barbara Steiner, Women's Way Nurse Consultant, North Dakota Department of Health Division of Cancer Prevention and Control

Just as we believe a team-based approach works best at the clinic level, we also believe in the power of collaboration and partnership at the local and regional level. The unique expertise of the following partnering organizations has strengthened ECQIP:

  • Wyoming Primary Care Association
  • HealthPOINT
  • North and South Dakota chapters of the American Cancer Society
  • South Dakota Department of Health
  • North Dakota Department of Health
  • Great Plains Quality Improvement Network
  • Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center and Colorado ECHO
  • Community Health Association of the Mountain and Plains States (CHAMPS)
  • The Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)