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CMS Awards America’s Essential Hospitals Third Year for Initiative to Reduce Harm, Readmissions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 30, 2014

WASHINGTON – America’s Essential Hospitals will continue for a third year its work to improve patient safety and reduce 30-day readmissions as part of the federal Partnership for Patients (PfP) initiative.

America’s Essential Hospitals will continue the work of the Essential Hospitals Engagement Network (EHEN), one of 26 such networks nationally. The association’s research arm, the Essential Hospitals Institute, oversees EHEN work at 22 member hospitals.

“Our network has made impressive strides to improve quality and reduce costs,” said Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, president and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals. “We look forward to building on these achievements in our third year and to making health care even safer and more affordable, especially for vulnerable populations.”

The public-private PfP initiative aims to reduce nine hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and 30-day readmissions by 20 percent nationwide by the end of 2014.

America’s Essential Hospitals, formerly the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, launched the EHEN in 2011 and recently reported that the network prevented 2,417 harmful events and saved approximately $24 million.

To achieve these results, the EHEN – the only engagement network focused on hospitals with a safety net role – has taken a two-pronged approach to reducing harm by simultaneously coaching and educating front-line clinical staff and training hospitals’ executive teams to foster a culture of patient safety.

Specifically, clinical front line teams are using improvement cycles to test and spread best practices in reducing hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions. Meanwhile, the EHEN leadership cohort meets monthly to discuss how to best support clinical front line teams and incorporate patient safety discussions into C-suite and board-level meetings.

Other key accomplishments of the EHEN include:

  • a greater than 40 percent reduction in falls with trauma;
  • a 40 percent reduction in central line-associated bloodstream infections;
  • a greater than 30 percent reduction in catheter-associated urinary tract infections; and
  • a greater than 20 percent reduction in surgical site infections.

EHEN hospitals also have been working to eliminate health care disparities based on race, ethnicity, and language, and have boosted patient and family engagement in care. EHEN hospitals are uniquely positioned to reduce disparities in care because of their experience in treating diverse patient populations with varying health needs. The EHEN in its third year plans to accelerate its health equity efforts, as well as focus on sustainability models at the clinical and executive levels to ensure that hospitals can maintain the harm reductions they achieve.

“Our harm reduction strategy aims to improve quality from the top down and from the bottom up, which we believe has equipped our hospitals with the tools they need to improve,” said EHEN Project Director Sarah Callahan, MHSA. “An emphasis on sustainability models in our third year will help our hospitals lay the groundwork for continual improvement.”

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About America’s Essential Hospitals

America’s Essential Hospitals, formerly the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, is the leading association and champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. Since 1981, America’s Essential Hospitals has initiated, advanced, and preserved programs and policies that help these hospitals ensure access to care. It supports members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education.

Our more than 200 members are vital to their communities, providing primary through trauma care, disaster response, health professionals training, research, public health programs, and other services. They innovate and adapt to lead the broader health care community toward more effective and efficient care. Visit EssentialHospitals.org to learn more.

About the Essential Hospitals Institute
Essential Hospitals Institute, formerly the National Public Health and Hospital Institute, researches and promotes evidence-based best practices and specializes in programs that promote the health of vulnerable people and underserved communities. The Institute uses data analysis and lessons learned to help members and the broader health care community achieve high-quality, cost-efficient care for all people.

Key topics of study include patient safety, quality improvement, care disparities, and other issues important to hospitals that serve high volumes of vulnerable patients. In addition to conducting research, the Institute educates and trains senior administrators and clinical leaders. It accomplishes this work through a Research Center and the Transformation Center, a catalyst for innovative change to improve quality and safety. Established in 1988, Essential Hospitals Institute is the research affiliate of America’s Essential Hospitals. Learn more at EssentialHospitalsInstitute.org.

Contact
Carl Graziano
202.585.0102
cgraziano@essentialhospitals.org

 

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About the Author

Graziano is senior director of communications for America's Essential Hospitals.

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