H3 works with small practices on quality improvement strategies for cardiovascular care.

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Why Practices Participate


Learn about H3

H3 is a federally funded research program working with small practice clinics in the Midwest to implement and evaluate quality improvement strategies for cardiovascular care.

Why Practices Participate

H3 is a research project that may help your practice:

  • Strengthen prevention for heart disease and stroke by focusing on the ABCS – Aspirin, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management and Smoking cessation;
  • Build or enhance its infrastructure to report and use quality data to improve care;
  • Generate new opportunities for providers to earn continuing medical education (CME) credits and maintain their board certifications;
  • Prepare to take advantage of fee-for-service reimbursement opportunities and quality-based incentive programs; and
  • Prepare for our healthcare system’s rapid shift toward value-based reimbursement.

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Individualized Coaching at the Center of H3

H3 will help you implement strategies to monitor your patients’ cardiovascular care. For one year, expert facilitators will support small practice clinics as they:

  • Optimize electronic health record (EHR) clinical decision support functionality.
  • Implement and modify office-based protocols. Coaching will incorporate Million Hearts best practices.
  • Encourage team-based approaches.
  • Collect and analyze clinical quality measures.

Facilitators present evidence-based tools proven to improve cardiovascular quality of care in primary care settings. The H3 research tests point-of-care strategies alone versus point-of-care plus population health management strategies.

Heart Health Measures that Matter

The quality measures at  the center of H3 are known as “ABCS” – aspirin when appropriate, blood pressure control, cholesterol management and smoking cessation.
ABCS is focus of the Million Hearts federal initiative and other popular quality and incentive programs, including Meaningful Use, PQRS, the ACO Shared Savings Programs.

Experts Partnering to Deliver Quality Support

H3 has leveraged 10 leading organizations in the region—including four health IT regional extension centers, two quality improvement organizations and the American Medical Association.

H3 facilitators come from a variety of clinical and technical backgrounds. Educational opportunities include the latest on clinical best practices and emerging quality and pay-for-performance programs.

Data Security

Our biggest concern at H3 is the safety of patient data. We are using HIPAA-compliant software (popHealth and HealtheRx) in this study, and any data sent for analysis is stored at Northwestern University using HIPAA-compliant systems.

Efforts will be made to limit the use and disclosure of personal information. We may publish the results of this research, but will keep provider name, clinic name and other identifying information confidential.

Patient-level data will only be presented in aggregate form. In addition to trained H3 staff, organizations that may audit, inspect and/or copy your information include Northwestern University’s Institutional Review Board; other representatives of Northwestern University; H3 partner organizations; and the study sponsor, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

A message from Dr. Abel Kho, principal investigator for H3


The H3 consortium includes small practice providers in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.

Clinics are eligible to participate if they:

  • Have ≤ 10 providers (MD, DO, NP, PA)
  • Are focused on adult primary care
  • Have a certified electronic health record system
  • Do not currently receive significant quality improvement support

Participation Timeline


(Winter '16 or Spring '16)

  • Consent
  • Software installation
  • Baseline survey


(Month 0-12)

  • Training and technical support to use QI tools
  • Monthly reports and up to weekly coaching sessions
  • Educational resources and opportunities (e.g., webinars, peer groups, CME credits)
  • Support to participate in quality and payer programs


(Months 12-18)

  • Data collection
  • Access to tools and resources
  • Exit survey at 18 months
Northern Illinois University Illinois Health Connect Alliance of Chicago American Medical Association University of Chicago University of Chicago Medicine IL-HITREC Illinois Department of Public Health Metastar Northwestern University CHITREC Purdue Healthcare Purdue University Telligen

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