An Oklahoma Hospital Association (OHA) effort working with statewide hospitals has resulted in the prevention of more than 4,000 patient harms and a cost savings of nearly $30 million since 2012. The initiative focused on making significant improvements in 10 areas of potential hospital-acquired harm.
The OHA has partnered with the American Hospital Association Health Research & Education Trust (AHA/HRET) to participate in the Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) initiative. The AHA/HRET HEN was one of 17 entities funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to deploy the Partnership for Patients (PfP) initiative, which was developed to decrease harm to patients in hospitals. Thirty-seven Oklahoma hospitals joined the OHA HEN, working to improve patient safety in these 10 areas of hospital-acquired harm: adverse drug events (ADE), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI), injuries from falls and immobility, obstetrical adverse events, pressure ulcers, surgical site infections, venous thromboembolism (VTE), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), and preventable readmissions. “Is it exciting to see Oklahoma hospitals put evidence-based practices into place to achieve these results. Outcomes like these require engaged leadership, empowered teams, and intentional interventions,” said LaWanna Halstead, vice president of quality and clinical initiatives, OHA.
Strategies to decrease hospital acquired harm and avoidable readmissions in working with hospital teams included implementation of evidence based best practices, access to educational resources and tools, webinars, in-person meetings with subject matter experts, data collection and analysis, site visits, and leadership training. From 2012-2016, a projected 4,238 patient harms were prevented in the 60 hospitals that participated during this project period. Additionally, 29 hospital staff members participated in the HRET Leadership Fellow program, and received training on the science of safety, measurement and evaluation of improvement, and leading change initiatives. The impact of the efforts from involvement in the AHA/HRET HEN through work with OHA clinical initiatives staff has the potential to continue to decrease hospital acquired harm. An additional result of making hospitals safer by decreasing patient harm includes cost savings (resulting from not having to treat harm). The anticipated cost savings to Oklahoma hospitals from this initiative exceeded $29.6 million.