Virginia Selected for Continued Role in Patient Safety Improvement Initiative

September 29, 2015

Hospital Engagement Network is Nationwide Effort Focused on Enhancing Patient Care and Improving Outcomes in Hospital Settings

Richmond, Va. – Virginia has been 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. This ongoing effort is part of the American Hospital Association/Health Research & Educational Trust (AHA/HRET) Hospital Engagement Network (HEN). Through 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 – Virginia will participate in a second round of HEN to continue working to improve patient care in the hospital setting. The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) and its Center for Healthcare Excellence have been heavily engaged on this effort.

“Virginia hospitals are united around a single goal: to provide the safest, highest quality care to every patient who walks through their doors. By participating in the next round of the national Hospital Engagement Networks initiative, our hospitals hope to continue making significant progress toward this shared goal,” said James B. Cole, President and Chief Executive Officer of Virginia Hospital Center and Chairman of VHHA’s Board of Directors.

“The Hospital Engagement Network provides yet another opportunity for hospitals across the Commonwealth, and across the country, to collaborate with and learn evidence-based best practices from each other to improve the quality, safety, service, and value of the care they provide to their communities,” said Abraham Segres, VHHA Vice President for Quality and Patient Safety and the Executive Director of VHHA’s Center for Healthcare Excellence. “We in Virginia are gratified to continue our involvement with this important effort.”

Since the launch of the Partnership for Patients initiative, the vast majority of U.S. hospitals and many other stakeholders have joined the collaborative effort and delivered results. Because of a reduction in hospital-acquired conditions from 2010-2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates there have been 50,000 fewer patient deaths in hospitals, and approximately $12 billion in saved health care costs. Patient safety is improving nationally. One result is that 1.3 million adverse events and infections have been avoided in hospitals in recent years. This translates to a 17 percent decline in hospital-acquired conditions over the three-year period (2010-2013).

The Partnership for Patients and HEN collaboration are one part of an overall framework established by the Affordable Care Act to deliver higher quality care, spend dollars more wisely, and improve care. Initiatives like Partnership for Patients, Accountable Care Organizations, Quality Improvement Organizations, and others have helped reduce hospital readmissions in Medicare by nearly 8 percent between January 2012 and December 2013 (that translates to 150,000 fewer readmissions) in addition to the aforementioned quality improvements.

“We have made significant progress in keeping patients safe and we are focused on accelerating improvement efforts through collaboration and reliable implementation of best practices,” said Patrick Conway, M.D., Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Principal Deputy Administrator and Chief Medical Officer. “This second round of Hospital Engagement Networks will allow us to continue to improve health care safety across the nation.”

Round two of the HEN will continue to work to develop learning collaboratives for hospitals and provide a wide array of initiatives and activities to improve patient safety. They will be required to conduct intensive training programs to teach and support hospitals in making patient care safer; provide technical assistance to hospitals so that hospitals can achieve quality measurement goals; and establish, implement, and improve the system to track and monitor hospital progress in meeting Partnership for Patients quality improvement goals. The activities of the HEN will be closely monitored by CMS to ensure that they are generating results and improving patient safety.

The 17 organizations (listed alphabetically) receiving contracts in round two of the Hospital Engagement Networks are:

• American Hospital Association
• Ascension Health
• Carolinas HealthCare System
• Dignity Health
• Healthcare Association of New York State
• Health Research Education Trust of New Jersey
• Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania
• Iowa Healthcare Collaborative
• LifePoint Hospitals, Inc.
• MHA Health Foundation
• Minnesota Hospital Association
• Ohio Children’s Hospital Solutions for Patient Safety
• Ohio Hospital Association
• Premier Healthcare Solutions Inc.
• Tennessee Hospital Association
• VHA-UHC Alliance NewCo Inc.
• Washington State Hospital Association

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 which develop and advocate for sound health care policy in the Commonwealth. Its vision is to achieve excellence in both health care and public health.

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