Virginia and North Carolina Hospitals Make Progress in Preventing Patient Harm
January 7, 2015
Virginia and North Carolina hospitals and health systems have prevented harm to more than 10,000 patients and saved more than $90 million as a result of a reduction in hospital-acquired conditions from 2010-13. The efforts were part of the federal Partnership for Patients; a public-private partnership to help improve the quality, safety and affordability of health care for all Americans. Thirty-four Virginia and 81 North Carolina hospitals participated in the regional improvement network over the past three years.
In the Virginia-North Carolina Hospital Engagement Network (NoCVA HEN), the greatest success was in reductions of patient falls, elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks gestation, adverse drug events, infections and pressure ulcers. These hospitals also reduced the number of hospital readmissions, much of which was accomplished through enhanced relationships with other health care providers and community-based services, such as skilled nursing facilities, home care agencies and Area Agencies on Aging.
For the past three years, hospital leaders, staff and physicians have come together for joint training sessions and programs and interacted with national experts to learn about and implement best practices for improving the quality and safety of care provided in Virginia hospitals. Many Virginia hospitals have been leaders in these areas for years, and this initiative provided a formal structure for sharing and collective learning.
“Virginia hospitals are united around providing the safest, highest quality care to every patient who walks through their doors,” said Sean T. Connaughton, President and CEO of the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association. “By implementing evidence-based strategies and collaborating with each other and our community-based partners on improving efforts, Virginia hospitals have produced significant reductions in hospital-acquired conditions, resulting in improved quality of care, lower costs and better overall health care experiences for patients.”
An additional 36 Virginia hospitals participated in similar improvement networks with other hospitals across the country that produced similar results. Nationwide, hospitals prevented 1.3 million patient harm events and saved more than $12 billion in health spending, according to a report issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association is an alliance of 110 hospitals and 35 health delivery systems that develops and advocates for sound health care policy in the Commonwealth. Its vision is to achieve excellence in both health care and health.