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Local hospitals join initiative focused on patient safety

By Staff | Mar 16, 2012

Cape Coral Hospital, along with other Lee Memorial Health System medical facilities, is taking part in a national campaign aimed at patient safety.

Cape Hospital, HealthPark Medical Center, Lee Memorial Hospital and Gulf Coast Medical Center are participating in Partnership for Patients, an effort to improve health care and reduce costs by improving quality in 10 areas.

“There’s significant problems with safety in hospitals in the United States,” Dr. Charles Krivenko, the chief medical officer for clinical and quality services at LMHS, said. “Patients are at risk in hospitals because of safety.”

The goal of the initiative is to reduce preventable hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and preventable complications during a transition from one care setting to another by 20 percent by the end of 2013.

“To aim is to reduce preventable medical errors,” Krivenko said.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, cutting preventable conditions by 40 percent would mean approximately 1.8 million fewer patient injuries and more than 600,000 lives saved in three years.

Decreasing complications during a transition from one care setting to another, like from a hospital to a nursing home, means more than 1.6 million patients could recover without needing re-hospitalization within 30 days.

Federal officials estimate that meeting the campaign’s goal could save up to $35 billion, including up to $10 billion related to Medicare, over three years.

“This is a voluntary program,” Krivenko said, adding that LMHS has a long history of becoming involved with clinical improvement projects.

“We thought that it would be important for us to participate,” he said.

The 10 areas where the initiative aims to improve on quality are:

– Adverse drug events

– Catheter-associated urinary tract infections

– Central line-associated blood stream infections

– Injuries from falls and immobility

– Obstetrical adverse events

– Pressure ulcers

– Surgical site infections

– Venous thromboembolism

– Ventilator-associated pneumonia- Preventable re-admissions

According to Krivenko, LMHS’ hospitals are collaborating with other medical facilities as part of a hospital engagement network. Those is the network are taking part in educational sessions and webinars related to the target areas.

“They’ll give us information. They’ll hook us up with experts in the field,” he said, adding that the facilities are required to submit monthly reports.

The idea is to identify solutions that work and spread that information.

“We’ll have information that we’ll be able to share,” Krivenko said.

Seventy Florida facilities make up the network that LMHS is working with, according to the Florida Hospital Association. The state association created the network in partnership with the Health Research and Educational Trust, which recruited hospital associations across the nation to form networks.

The Health Research and Educational Trust was one of 26 state, regional, national and hospital system organizations to receive $218 million in total to create networks in support of the campaign, according to federal officials.

“We are the only Florida-based group with the Health Research and Educational Trust,” Kim Streit, the vice president of health care research and information for the Florida Hospital Association, said. “Within Florida, there are hospitals working on the initiative, but not directly with FHA.”

Partnership for Patients will run through December 2013.

Streit explained that the association will provide resources to help the hospitals, and that the network will have access to national experts.

“We will be able to provide the hospitals with some of the approaches that are used that work,” she said. “We’re going to help them with implementing.”

For more information about the campaign, visit the government website: www.healthcare.gov/compare/partnership-for-patients.