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Let’s Keep Our Momentum in Hitting Quality and Patient Safety Targets

December 16, 2013 | By: Andrew Carter, HAP President and CEO

Let’s Keep Our Momentum in Hitting Quality and Patient Safety Targets

Being a Leader Has Challenges Too

Warning, do not stop after you read the first sentence in this article.

Pennsylvania hospitals and health systems have been leaders in health care quality and patient safety efforts for decades. You have read this declaration time and time. Please keep reading, as there is a point to be made. 

Because we have led the nation in making significant inroads in quality care, reaching new national quality and safety goals becomes harder. 

When you already have exceeded expectations and led change, it becomes more difficult to hit the targets. Why? The patient scenarios you are addressing are tougher and more complex. And let’s face it, sometimes people return to old habits and old ways. Keeping the momentum can be difficult. 

This is where leadership is most critical. Every chief executive officer and every hospital board must take seriously the charge of integrating quality and patient safety improvements in to the entire culture of the organization. 

HAP’s Pennsylvania Hospital Engagement Network (PA-HEN) is working to help make that happen.

Celebrating Major Improvements 

Use whatever descriptor you wish, complex, frenetic, ever-changing, evolving––the health care delivery system is as challenging to negotiate for both providers and consumers as it ever has been. There is very little time to reflect on the good that is happening, as we grapple with the pace of change.

We must take the opportunity to step back and recognize the individuals who strive each day to improve patient safety and quality in out hospitals. We need to share the good news that is often missed or slips past us in the midst of our chaotic worlds.

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has awarded the PA-HEN a third-year Partnership for Patients contract. 

This allows the PA-HEN to build on its successful work in contract years one and two to improve quality and patient safety in Pennsylvania hospitals. 

To date PA-HEN hospitals in collaboratives have achieved a 49 percent reduction in hospital-acquired conditions. 

PA-HEN hospitals in the readmission collaborative have achieved a 28 percent reduction in preventable congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease readmissions. 

Going forward, work will continue to spread best-practices and integrate new strategies to make even greater improvements. 

Breaking New Ground on Patient-Family Engagement

If you missed it, HAP and the PA-HEN launched a new guidebook for hospitals, Patient- and Family-Centered Care: A Key Element to Improving Quality, Patient Safety, Perception of Care, and Care Outcomes. 

The guidebook has received national attention, including praises from the American Hospital Association, national leaders in the patient and family engagement movement, and state hospital associations.

But that’s not all. The PA-HEN and HAP created the first of its kind Patient and Family Engagement Advisory Council, comprised of patients, family members, and hospital representatives who can give real guidance and direction in making care patient-centric.

We've made great strides in quality and patient safety. Let’s work hard to hit the new targets and prove once a leader, always a leader. 

 

Andy Carter
Written by Andy Carter

Andy Carter is the president and CEO of HAP. He is responsible for leading advocacy, policy planning, strategic direction, and communications for the hospital and health system members of one of the nation’s largest statewide health care advocacy organizations.




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