Hospital patient safety initiative expands in Kansas

More than 100 Kansas hospitals statewide have joined or renewed their commitment to a national patient safety initiative in 2014, according to officials at the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative (KHC). KHC, a non-profit organization based in Topeka, is the designee of the Kansas Hospital Association to administer the Kansas Hospital Engagement Network (HEN).  While 11 hospitals are new to the Kansas HEN, 90 are expanding their efforts into a third year.  (A list of hospitals is attached.)

The Kansas hospitals are among 3,700 across the nation that are working to achieve a shared goal of reducing hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and preventable readmissions by 20 percent. The Kansas HEN is part of the American Hospital Association/Health Research & Educational Trust HEN, a group of nearly 1,500 hospitals in 31 states that are working together to conduct quality and patient safety improvement projects aimed at improving patient care in 10 areas of focus, ranging from falls and surgical site infections to preventable readmissions.

“Kansas hospitals have devoted tremendous effort to this initiative and have achieved significant gains over the past year,” said Kendra Tinsley, KHC executive director. “We realize it takes time for hospitals to become engaged in large-scale improvement efforts and implement improvement strategies. We commend Kansas hospitals and providers for their tireless efforts to deliver the safest care for their patients.”

The collective efforts of hospitals in the Kansas HEN have yielded some early successes, including widespread establishment of obstetric policies to prevent early elective deliveries as well as success in reducing readmissions for heart failure patients and in reducing central line-associated bloodstream infections.

In support of the initiative the Kansas HEN has provided many resources, including more than 60 performance improvement coaching webinars and more than 50 on-site visits to help Kansas HEN hospitals meet the national “40/20” goals.

KHC officials say highlights for the coming year include:

  •  Increased engagement and continued implementation of best practices through a comprehensive education program and networking structure.
  •  Enhanced technical assistance and support for data collection and analysis to identify opportunities for improvement and measure progress toward goals.
  •  Targeted professional development and leadership training through the national Improvement Leader Fellowship program.
  •  Increased efforts to strengthen patient and family engagement through collaboration with nationally recognized experts in the field.

KHC is a provider-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to transform health care through patient-centered initiatives that improve quality, safety and value. Founded in 2008 by the Kansas Hospital Association and the Kansas Medical Society ,KHC embodies the commitment of two of the state’s leading health care provider groups to act as a resource and continuously enhance the quality of care provided to Kansans.

KHC leads a number of statewide quality and patient safety initiatives in Kansas, including CUSP: Stop BSI; CUSP: Stop CAUTI; Influenza Immunization; and the Kansas Hospital Engagement Network. For more information about the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative and its initiatives, visit