VHHA, Participating Hospitals Selected to Continue Patient Safety Improvement Work

October 17, 2016

Virginia Hospitals’ Participation in Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks Effort Continues Achievements made under the Partnership for Patients Initiative

RICHMOND, VA – The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) has been selected, as a part of the American Hospital Association/Health Research & Educational Trust Hospital Engagement Network, among 16 national, regional, or state hospital associations, Quality Improvement Organizations, and health system organizations to continue efforts in reducing preventable hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions. The Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks (HIIN) contracts awarded build upon the collective momentum of the Hospital Engagement Networks and Quality Improvement Organizations to reduce patient harm and readmissions. This announcement is part of a broader effort to transform our health care system into one that works better for the American people and for the Medicare program.

Health care quality and safety is a core mission and key priority for Virginia’s hospitals and health systems that are constantly striving to improve patient outcomes and health care value. One example of that commitment is hospitals’ work with this national health care quality and safety initiative. During the recently concluded Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) 2.0 initiative, VHHA members and the Association’s Center for Healthcare Excellence are pleased to note that 1,851 patient harm incidents were prevented at 35 participating hospitals across the Commonwealth. In addition to yielding more positive patient outcomes due to hundreds of potential harm incidents avoided, that work also produced more than $16.5 million in health care costs savings.

“Delivering positive health care outcomes for patients and their families is a core mission of Virginia’s community hospitals and health systems. Hospitals around the Commonwealth are committed to this ideal as we pursue a goal of making Virginia the healthiest state in the nation,” said VHHA Board Chair Mary N. Mannix, the President and CEO of Augusta Health. “One example of the focus on enhancing patient care in hospital settings is participation by the Association and member hospitals in the Hospital Engagement Network effort, and now through the Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks. While these efforts have produced noteworthy gains, hospitals are not resting on those improvements. Our work to enhance patient care is enduring.”

Last year, Virginia, in conjunction with the American Hospital Association/Health Research & Educational Trust (AHA/HRET) HEN initiative, was selected as one of 17 national, regional, or state hospital associations and health system organizations to continue efforts in reducing preventable hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions. Virginia participated in this effort to continue patient care improvements in affiliation with the Partnership for Patients initiative – a nationwide public-private collaboration that began in 2011 to reduce preventable hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and 30-day readmissions by 20 percent.

“Delivering high quality care to patients begins with dedicated providers who care about patients as individuals, who are compassionate in their approach, who comfort patients and families through treatment and support that is patient-centered and unique to each person,” said Bon Secours Virginia Health System CEO Toni R. Ardabell, a VHHA Board member who chairs the Advisory Council of VHHA’s Center for Healthcare Excellence. “In addition to quality, a focus on enhancing health care safety is central to achieving positive patient outcomes. Ongoing quality and safety improvement efforts by hospitals and health systems demonstrate a commitment to those ideals.”

During HEN 2.0 from September 2015-September 2016, VHHA provided 24 in-person and virtual educational program offerings, including workshops targeting the clinical areas Virginia hospitals ranked as top priorities during initial need assessments (readmissions, C. difficile, and sepsis). Other workshops focused on cost-cutting strategies to achieve harm reductions, with an emphasis on imparting high reliability organization techniques, patient and family engagement approaches, and other best practices. In addition to training opportunities, VHHA staff conducted in-person visits with participating member hospitals to observe HEN-related efforts on-site.

As a result of this initiative and the dedication of hospital leaders and staff to its principles, significant reductions from hospital baselines have been recorded in several patient-specific health care categories during HEN 2.0. Among them:

  • 10.1 percent reduction in catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI);
  • 19.2 percent reduction in central line-associated blood stream infection (CLABSI);
  • 54 percent reduction in early elective deliveries;
  • 70.4 percent reduction in obstetrics harm;
  • 12.1 percent reduction in ventilator-associated events (VAE);
  • 47.3 percent reduction in venous thromboembolism (VTE) or blood clots in the vein; and
  • 2.1 percent reduction in sepsis infections.

Through 2019, these Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks will work to achieve a 20 percent decrease in overall patient harm and a 12 percent reduction in 30-day hospital readmissions as a population-based measure (readmissions per 1,000 people) from the 2014 baseline. Efforts to address health equity for Medicare beneficiaries will be central to the Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks efforts. CMS will monitor and evaluate the activities of the Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks to ensure that they are generating results and improving patient safety.

“We have made significant progress in keeping patients safe – an estimated 2.1 million fewer patients harmed, 87,000 lives saved, and nearly $20 billion in cost-savings from 2010 to 2014 – and we are focused on accelerating improvement efforts,” said Patrick Conway, M.D., CMS acting principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer. “The work of the Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks will allow us to continue to improve health care safety across the nation and reduce readmissions at a national scale – keeping people as safe and healthy as possible.”

The 16 organizations (listed in alphabetical order) receiving contracts in the Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks are:

  • Carolinas Healthcare System
  • Dignity Health
  • Healthcare Association of New York State
  • HealthInsight
  • The Health Research and Educational Trust of the American Hospital Association
  • Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey
  • Health Services Advisory Group
  • The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania
  • Iowa Healthcare Collaborative
  • Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) Health Foundation
  • Minnesota Hospital Association
  • Ohio Children’s Hospitals’ Solutions for Patient Safety
  • Ohio Hospital Association
  • Premier, Inc.
  • Vizient, Inc.
  • Washington State Hospital Association

The Partnership for Patients model is one of the first models established in 2011 to be tested under the authority of section 1115A of the Social Security Act (the Act) with the goal of reducing program expenditures while preserving or enhancing the quality of care. Since the launch of the Partnership for Patients and the work of Hospital Engagement Networks in collaboration with many other stakeholders, the vast majority of U.S. hospitals have delivered results as demonstrated by the achievement of unprecedented national reductions in harm. CMS believes that the upcoming work of the Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks, working as part of the Quality Improvement Organization’s work to improve patient safety and the quality of care in the Medicare program, will continue the great strides made in improving care provided to beneficiaries.

For more information on the Partnership for Patients and the Hospital Engagement Networks, please visit:

About VHHA: The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association is an alliance of 107 hospitals and 30 health delivery systems that develops and advocates for sound health care policy in the Commonwealth. Its vision is through the power of collaboration to be recognized as a driving force behind making Virginia the healthiest state in the nation.


Julian Walker
Vice President of Communications
(804) 297-3193 office
(804) 304-7402 mobile