MSQC is working with BCBSM to determine how best to modify scoring models and data abstraction models to account for disruptions in data abstraction and quality improvement work due to this pandemic. In short: no MSQCC hospitals will be penalized for circumstances outside of their control.

What do we need to do if our SCQR(s) have been redeployed to assist with the COVID-19 crisis?

Hospitals will not be penalized in any way due to data abstractor reassignment during this period. This period of leniency is currently set to extend through April 30th. BCBSM will reassess whether further extensions are needed well ahead of this date and we will communicate to you at that time.

If your hospital needs to reassign its SCQR(s), please complete the brief attestation identifying the SCQR and the dates of the reassignment, and send your completed form to

Will we be penalized for the drop in surgery volume due to cancelled elective surgeries?

No. BCBSM will not reduce hospitals’ data abstraction funding for volume lags caused by the COVID pandemic. While the timeline is still uncertain, MSQC is actively planning to support hospitals in managing workload when elective procedures ramp up again in the coming months. 

Will MSQC allow any flexibility over data abstraction, such as completing cases before the lock date?

BCBSM has asked CQIs to ensure that during this period, all data abstracted for the registry meets the usual data quality standards for timeliness, completeness, and accuracy. However, if you are running into data abstraction issues due to redeployment or other COVID-related reasons, please get in touch to discuss with us and we will be as flexible as we can.

How do I collect 30-day follow up if I am working from home?

MSQC encourages you to be flexible and creative when attempting to contact patients for follow-up during this period. 

Our automated PRO email surveys are already the most efficient way to get follow up. Enter the necessary data elements into the workstation as early as possible to ensure that your emails go out early.

We know many SCQRs are using their personal phones to call patients, but allowing patients to access your personal phone number can be concerning. Some SCQRs find that withholding Caller-ID and leaving a message is an effective method around this concern. 

Note: your hospital may have options for you to access your desk phone remotely or have some other remote communication solution available to you. We highly recommend you talk to your IT/Telecoms support to see what is available to you when working remotely.

Be sure to document your efforts in the follow-up comments field in the workstation.

How should we focus our quality improvement efforts?

Except in extreme cases, sites should not suspend their quality improvement activities. In partnership with BCBSM, MSQC will be monitoring and reassessing the 2020 QII goals, timelines and processes as the situation continues to evolve.

We encourage teams to be creative and flexible and utilize any resources available to initiate and/or continue QI communications. 

Our best advice right now is to:

  1. continue to do what you can, such as work on abstraction and contacting patients by letter, email and phone for follow-up
  2. review your 2019 data, understand your ‘baseline’ for your procedure groups
  3. strategize & sketch out your action plan for the Rapid Implementation Cycle so that it’s ready to share when your team reassembles
  4. don’t be afraid to be creative, think ‘outside the box’ when it comes to problem-solving anticipated barriers
  5. utilize all resources at your disposal for communication with your team AND your patients, not just the routine methods.  

Will MSQC cancel the collaborative meetings scheduled for this year?

As of April 1st, our 2020 meetings are still scheduled to go ahead. We are currently exploring our options for the June SCQR Training Day, and will communicate our plans to you ASAP.

Anything else we can do to assist?

In partnership with other CQIs, MSQC is investigating how we might collect data related to COVID-19, to understand its impact on surgical services within Michigan hospitals. We are hoping to gather data using various methods and, importantly, to do this with minimal burden on the nurse abstractor.

We are asking sites to provide us with full operative logs from January 2020 onwards, so that we can understand the impact of cancelled elective cases and inform planning for later ramp up. Full details here. Let us know if you have any questions.

Other COVID-19-related data initiatives are being explored and will be communicated as appropriate.

Still have questions?

At this time we encourage inquiries by email rather than phone so we can route your inquiry appropriately. If your issue is best discussed on the phone, let us know and someone will call you back.

Data abstraction questions and inquiries:

General questions and inquiries: