Iowa Patient Safety Initiative Reduces Errors, Saves $51M

Written by on February 28, 2014 in News

MT. PLEASANT – The 127 hospitals participating in the Iowa-based Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) prevented potential harm to more than 4,300 patients in 2013 and reduced health care costs by more than $51 million, according to data released today by the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative (IHC), which administers the network.
As a member of HEN, Henry County Health Center is actively participating in the program. HCHC is demonstrating sustained high performance by meeting a 40 percent improvement of a national benchmark in the following areas: adverse drug events related to blood thinning medications, venous thromboembolism (blood clots), pressure ulcers, early elective deliveries, falls with injuries, and catheter associated blood stream infections. HCHC is demonstrating outstanding improvement by achieving specific standards per a designated scoring guide in the areas of falls, central line-associated blood stream infections and surgical site infections.
“Henry County Health Center is committed to an organizational environment where patient safety is a top priority. HCHC’s involvement with the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative Partnership for Patients program is evidence of this commitment as the program is designed to enhance the quality, safety and affordability of healthcare for all Americans by targeting and reducing the millions of preventable injuries and complications from health care acquired conditions,” explained Robb Gardner, HCHC CEO. “HCHC’s participation in the Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) adds to this important work by identifying and creating innovative solutions designed to reduce patient harm and improve care coordination. We are pleased to report the positive results we have experienced due to our efforts with these programs.”
Among other improvements, participating hospitals reduced early elective baby deliveries (which can increase complications) by 90 percent; catheter associated urinary tract infections by 44 percent; adverse drug events by 28 percent; central line-associated blood stream infections in intensive care by 24 percent; surgical site infections by 24 percent; patient falls by 23 percent; and avoidable readmissions by 11 percent.
This work has taken place as part of the federal Partnership for Patients initiative, with the goals of reducing harm by 40 percent and hospital readmissions by 20 percent. The program has helped the hospitals develop the infrastructure, expertise and organizational culture that will support further improvements for years to come. The Iowa HEN, which includes12 hospitals in Illinois and Nebraska, has accelerated improvement across the state and patients are benefiting every day from the spread and implementation of best practices.
In addition to reducing costs, the Iowa HEN reduced the time that patients spent in the participating hospitals by 17,758 days. It’s estimated that at least 32 lives were saved because of the HEN.
“Through the HEN program, Iowa hospitals and their 71,000 employees are ensuring that patients are safer when they are in the hospital and less likely to return to the hospital, all of which reduces the cost of care,” explained Tom Evans, M.D., IHC CEO. “In many ways, Iowa was already a leader in these measurements, but our hospitals have taken up the challenge to do even better – and they are succeeding.”
“Iowa physicians and hospitals are committed to raising the quality and safety bar in all parts of the state,” said IHC Board Chair Jeff Maire, D.O., of Mercy Surgical Affiliates in Des Moines. “Through that commitment we are increasing value and bending the cost curve for all health care consumers.”

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