Kansas hospitals successful in improving care delivery

Hospitals in Kansas and across the country are successfully improving the quality of care patients receive, preventing hospital-acquired conditions, such as surgical site infections, and reducing readmissions rates thanks to a national Partnership for Patients (PfP) initiative known as the Hospital Engagement Network (HEN). Nationwide, 3,700 hospitals joined the HEN campaign.

As the initiative neared completion in early December, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report announcing major strides in patient safety resulting in a 17 percent decline in adverse events. HHS set an ambitious goal of reducing adverse events by 40 percent and readmissions by 20 percent by the end of 2014. The HHS report estimated 50,000 fewer patients died in hospitals, and approximately $12 billion in health care costs were saved as a result of patient safety improvements from 2010 to 2013. In addition, an estimated 1.3 million patient harms were prevented nationally.

“Three years ago more than 100 Kansas hospitals stepped up to embrace bold goals that reach to the very mission of hospitals for safe quality care,” said Tom Bell, president and chief executive officer of the Kansas Hospital Association. “Today their phenomenal results represent major strides in patient safety that will continue in 2015.”

“Collaborative teamwork, accountability, and leadership resulted in prevention of an estimated 3,800 safety events (including readmissions) at an estimated cost savings of more than $23.2 million in Kansas,” said Bell. “We are proud of hospitals’ participation in the Kansas HEN and encouraged by the impact on the delivery of care.”

The Kansas HEN was managed by the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative and in collaboration with the Health Research and Educational Trust, an affiliate of the American Hospital Association. The PFP HEN provided education and resources to Kansas hospitals. These included evidence-based practice protocols for reducing harm; technical assistance and consultation specific to a hospital’s needs; nationally and locally-renowned subject matter experts; and monthly coaching calls providing the latest information and the opportunity to share and learn from peer hospitals.

“KHC congratulates Kansas hospitals for their extensive contributions and work together to improve quality and patient safety throughout Kansas, said Kendra Tinsley, KHC executive director. “These reductions are the result of a deep commitment to patient safety and have a demonstrable impact on patients’ lives.”

“One achievement that KHC is particularly proud of is the implementation state wide of a ‘hard-stop’ obstetric policy to prevent early elective deliveries,” explained Tinsley. “By the end of 2013, all 49 of the Kansas HEN birthing hospitals adopted a hard-stop policy which results in better outcomes for mothers and their newborns.”

In 2015, Kansas hospitals will continue their collaboration through the Kansas HEN. KHC, in partnership with KHA and the Kansas Medical Society, will sustain and support the improvement infrastructure created for Kansas hospitals by offering education and technical assistance, as well as providing resources and opportunities for peer-to-peer learning. 

To view a complete list of participating Kansas hospitals, visit: www.khconline.org/images/KS-HEN-Hospitals-2014.pdf. To view the complete HHS announcement, visit: www.ahrq.gov/news/newsroom/press-releases/2014/hac-decline.html.

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 to continuously enhance the quality of care provided to Kansans. For more information about the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative visit www.khconline.org.