Now that 2012 is coming to a close, it’s a fitting time to look back at what the NAPH Safety Network (NSN) has accomplished across the last year.

Achieving the goals of the Partnership for Patients – reducing nine hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and 30-day readmissions by 20 percent by the end of 2013 – is critical, especially for safety net patients, who face cultural and socioeconomic challenges that may increase their risk for hospitalization and poor outcomes.

In our first year, the NSN met several milestones, including , launching a , and with member hospitals.

But some of our most noteworthy achievements are seen from the patient’s perspective, including:

  • Dramatically reduced rates of adverse events at NSN hospitals, including risky early elective deliveries, 30-day diabetes readmissions, ventilator-associated pneumonia and pressure ulcers.
  • Significant reductions in fall and surgical site infection rates, and 30-day heart failure readmission rates.
  • Impressive drops in catheter-associated urinary tract infection and central line-associated bloodstream infection rates at several hospitals – in one case, by increasing employees’ handwashing compliance rate from 32 percent to 85 percent.

In tandem with quality and safety initiatives, the NSN also undertook a vigorous campaign to engage senior hospital leaders in the network. The NSN in part owes its success to leaders who provided frontline staff with needed resources, removed barriers to their work, and afforded them the flexibility to implement change.

While we’ve made notable progress in 2012, we hope to achieve even more rapid and impressive results around the 10 conditions in our second year. In 2013, we also plan to further emphasize patient and family engagement and identify ways to increase health equity using race, ethnicity and language data.

The keys to a successful improvement project are clear commitments, specific goals, data to measure progress, and taking time to celebrate successes and milestones. We are proud of the work we’ve completed so far and look forward to maintaining our momentum into the new year.