Ascension Health Selected for Second Consecutive Time to Lead National Efforts to Improve Patient Safety

Hospital Engagement Networks will Continue Patient Safety Improvement Efforts in Hospitals

Oct 02, 2015, 15:45 ET from Ascension

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Ascension Health, a subsidiary of Ascension, the nation's largest Catholic and non-profit health system, has been selected as one of 17 national, regional, or state hospital associations and health system organizations to continue efforts in reducing preventable hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions. Through the Partnership for Patients initiative, Ascension Health will participate in the second round of Hospital Engagement Networks to continue its work to improve patient care in the hospital setting.

Through the original award, Ascension Health's acute care hospitals advanced patient safety in areas such preventing obstetrical adverse events, surgical site infections and pressure ulcers as well as cultivated leadership and cultural change.

"This is an exciting, revolutionary time of healthcare transformation. This funding will provide our System with additional resources to enable our providers and caregivers to rapidly develop and spread best practices that improve quality and safety," Ann Hendrich, Senior Vice President of Quality of Ascension Health said. "This work will offer Ascension Health new opportunities to collaborate with other Hospital Engagement Networks to lead the transformation of healthcare nationally."

The Partnership for Patients and the Hospital Engagement Networks are one part of an overall framework established by the Affordable Care Act to deliver better care, spend dollars more wisely, and improve care. Initiatives like the Partnership for Patients, Accountable Care Organizations, Quality Improvement Organizations, and others have helped reduce hospital readmissions in Medicare by nearly 8 percent between January 2012 and December 2013 – translating into 150,000 fewer readmissions – in addition to the quality improvements mentioned above. 

Since the launch of the Partnership for Patients, the vast majority of U.S. hospitals and many other stakeholders have joined the collaborative effort and delivered results. The Department of Health and Human Services has estimated that 50,000 fewer patients died in hospitals and approximately $12 billion in health care costs were saved as a result of a reduction in hospital-acquired conditions from 2010 to 2013. Nationally, patient safety is improving, resulting in 1.3 million adverse events and infections avoided in hospitals since in that time period. This translates to a 17 percent decline in hospital-acquired conditions over the three-year period.

"We have made significant progress in keeping patients safe and we are focused on accelerating improvement efforts through collaboration and reliable implementation of best practices," said Patrick Conway, M.D., CMS acting principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer. "This second round of Hospital Engagement Networks will allow us to continue to improve health care safety across the nation."

Round two of the Hospital Engagement Networks will continue to work to develop learning collaboratives for hospitals and provide a wide array of initiatives and activities to improve patient safety. They will be required to: conduct intensive training programs to teach and support hospitals in making patient care safer; provide technical assistance to hospitals so that hospitals can achieve quality measurement goals; and establish, implement, and improve  the system to track and monitor hospital progress in meeting the Partnership for Patients' quality improvement goals. The activities of the Hospital Engagement Networks will be closely monitored by CMS to ensure that they are generating results and improving patient safety.

During this year-long contract, Ascension Health will accelerate its efforts to achieve the overarching aims of the Partnership for Patients to reduce hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and hospital readmissions by 20 percent. The organization will also launch a strategy to build a culture of safety that will focus on the following initiatives:

  • Combat antibiotic resistance. As part of the National Strategy for Combatting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB), Ascension will establish a center of excellence for antimicrobial stewardship.
  • Enhance person and family engagement. One of Ascension's primary aims is to enhance the patient experience by offering more personalized care within clinically integrated systems of care in the communities it serves. Ascension Health has committed to the bold goal of improving the care experience across the continuum and establishing effective transitions in care for all. The CMS contract partially supports a comprehensive program to engage our associates and providers on how to design personalized care for all.
  • Design care models to lead the transformation to personalized healthcare across the continuum. Ascension Health will develop care models tailored to the specific needs of the persons served to prevent needless hospitalizations and improve care management.

About Ascension

Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world's largest Catholic health system, Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all persons with special attention to those who are struggling the most. In FY2015, Ascension provided nearly $2 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Approximately 149,000 associates and 35,000 aligned providers serve in 1,900 sites of care – including 129 hospitals and more than 30 senior care facilities – in 24 states and the District of Columbia.

For more information on the Partnership for Patients and the Hospital Engagement Networks, please visit:


SOURCE Ascension