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HAP’s Quality Initiative Helped PA Hospitals Decrease Hospital-acquired Conditions, Preventing Harm and Saving Money

January 31, 2019

From 2011 to 2016, the rate of hospital-acquired conditions (HAC) fell by 11 percent for hospitals enrolled in The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania’s (HAP) Pennsylvania Hospital Improvement and Innovation Network (PA HIIN). This significant reduction means nearly 1,300 patients avoided harm. In addition, providers saved more than $2.2 million dollars that could be invested in other important health care priorities.

HACs are medical conditions or complications that a patient develops during a hospital stay, which was not present at admission.

These dramatic results are due to the ongoing support and education provided by the PA HIIN, which works to sustain and accelerate progress to reduce harm in the Medicare program. PA HIIN works with nearly 100 hospitals across the state, and targets the following HACs for intervention and reduction:

  • Clostridium difficile or C. diff
  • MRSA bacteremia
  • Surgical site infections
  • Ventilator-associated events
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infections
  • Central line-associated blood stream infections

HAP and its members have been leaders in quality and safety improvement efforts for decades. Since 2010, HAP has received recognition and funding from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to undertake this work through Hospital Engagement Networks and now HIINs.

HIINs use a number of strategies to help hospitals reduce HACs, such as:

  • Developing learning collaboratives
  • Conducting intensive training programs
  • Providing technical assistance to help hospitals achieve quality measurement goals
  • Establishing and implementing a system to track and monitor hospital progress
  • Identifying high-performing hospitals and their leaders to coach and serve as national faculty to other hospitals

Nationwide, CMS has more than 4,000 hospitals participating in its HIINs to address patient safety issues including, but not limited to, HACs. From 2014 to 2019, CMS has set a goal of reducing HACs by 20 percent. Such a reduction could result in preventing 53,000 hospital deaths and savings of $19.1 billion in hospital provider costs.

Participation in the PA HIIN is open to all Pennsylvania hospitals; there is no cost to hospitals to join. The network of 16 HIINs nationwide is funded entirely by CMS.

Please contact Robert Shipp, HAP’s vice president, population health strategies, with questions or for information about joining the HIIN.

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