California Hospitals Unite in Partnership To Enhance Quality of Patient Care

Jan 23, 2013, 09:54 ET from California Hospital Association

California Leads Nation in Pledging Support for Federal "Partnership for Patients" Initiative

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nearly 400 California hospitals have joined together in support of a bold public-private partnership aimed at enhancing the quality of care provided to patients, according to the California Hospital Association (CHA) and its allied partners* in patient safety.  California now leads the nation in the number of hospitals voluntarily pledging to participate in the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) Partnership for Patients initiative. 

"I want to commend the California Hospital Association for galvanizing hospitals across the state to join the Partnership for Patients initiative," said CMS Innovation Center Director, Rick Gilfillan.  "Under the Partnership for Patients initiative, we are providing support to help hospitals provide high-quality care and keep their patients healthy.  Participating in this initiative will help California hospitals improve health outcomes and reduce complications for their patients.  It's an important part of our work to improve the health of our nation and make healthcare more affordable. As hospitals in California and across the country work to improve their performance on patient safety, everyone – not just Medicare, Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program beneficiaries – will benefit." 

By endorsing the Partnership for Patients initiative, hospitals throughout California have agreed to participate in two specific quality improvement programs:

  • Keep patients from getting injured or sicker.  By the end of 2013, preventable hospital-acquired conditions will decrease by 40 percent compared to 2010.  Achieving this goal will mean approximately 1.8 million fewer injuries to patients nationwide, with more than 60,000 lives saved over three years.
  • Help patients heal without complications.  By the end of 2013, preventable complications during a transition from one care setting to another will decrease so that all hospital readmissions will be reduced by 20 percent compared to 2010.  Achieving this goal will mean more than 1.6 million nationwide will recover from illness without suffering a preventable complication requiring re-hospitalization within 30 days of discharge.

"Hospitals across California are rapidly advancing the quality and safety of patient care by focusing on reducing preventable injuries and complications from healthcare-acquired conditions," said CHA President/CEO C. Duane Dauner.  "The fact that hundreds of hospitals throughout the state have voluntarily embraced both the Partnership for Patients initiative and a variety of other regional and statewide patient safety programs signifies the priority hospitals are placing on continuous quality improvement."

As part of the broad Partnership for Patients program, CMS developed a federally funded initiative known as the Hospital Engagement Network (HEN).  More than $200 million has been designated for 26 state, regional, national and hospital system organizations in an effort to reduce inpatient harm by 40 percent and hospital readmissions by 20 percent by the end of 2013.  CHA is a subcontractor to one of the 26 organizations receiving CMS funding – the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET), an affiliate of the American Hospital Association. 

Hospitals participating in the quality improvement HEN project are focusing on 10 specific clinical areas in order to reduce hospital-acquired infections and medical errors by the end of this year.  

In addition to the national Partnership for Patients program, a majority of hospitals in California participate in patient safety collaboratives aimed at reducing hospital-acquired conditions like infections and medical errors.  The collaboratives bring together groups of hospitals in peer-to-peer learning networks at the local, regional and statewide levels.  Collaboratives and other patient safety organizations (PSOs) review data, evaluate best practice approaches and help accelerate the adoption of quality improvement programs.  One of the largest collaboratives in CaliforniaPatient Safety First – was established in California in 2010 by multi-year grant funded by Anthem Blue Cross.  Hundreds of hospitals also participate in the California Hospital Patient Safety Organization (CHPSO), the nation's first federally approved PSO.  CHPSO provides hospitals a safe environment to develop clinical best practices.

To view a complete list of California hospitals that have signed the Partnership for Patients Pledge and/or are involved in the HEN project initiative, go to

*Allied for Patient Safety partners include: the California Hospital Association, the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California, the Hospital Association of Southern California, the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties and the California Hospital Patient Safety Organization.

SOURCE California Hospital Association