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Anthem Blue Cross-funded Patient Safety First initiative wins award

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Patient Safety First ... a California Partnership for Health (PSF) was awarded the esteemed 2013 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award by the National Quality Forum (NQF) and The Joint Commission in Washington, D.C. for the collaborative’s work in reducing early elective deliveries, hospital-acquired infections, and avoiding 3,576 deaths and more than $63 million in otherwise unnecessary hospital costs between 2009 and 2012.

PSF is a statewide collaborative between the Hospital Council of Northern & Central California, the Hospital Association of Southern California, the Hospital Association of San Diego & Imperial Counties, Anthem Blue Cross, National Health Foundation and California hospitals.

The Eisenberg award recognizes major achievements for individuals and organizations in improving patient safety and health care quality. An award panel comprised of nationally recognized patient safety and health care quality experts identified by The Joint Commission and NQF evaluated award submissions and identified award recipients.

The collaborative’s mission is to improve quality and reduce health care costs across the state. Since the inception of the collaborative in 2010, PSF member hospitals have shown significant improvement in four important hospital-based avoidable harm initiatives: sepsis mortality, ventilator associated pneumonia, central line blood stream infections and perinatal gestational age deliveries under 39 weeks. Dozens of hospitals consistently reported before and after data, and their results show:

• 74 percent reduction in early elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks gestational age

• 57 percent reduction in cases of ventilator associated pneumonia

• 43 percent reduction in cases of central line blood stream infections

• 26 percent reduction in sepsis mortality

The deaths and costs avoided were calculated by comparing all population data from 2012 to baseline data provided by the same hospitals in 2009.

With more than 180 hospitals participants between 2010 and 2013 and dozens of hospitals consistently reporting before and after data, PSF is the largest statewide collaborative effort focused on patient safety in the nation. Not only is Patient Safety First unique in its size and scale, but it is distinctive in that it brings together a health plan, hospital associations, a non-profit organization and private and public hospitals as partners in an effort to improve care, health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. The collaborative is open to both hospitals in and outside of Anthem’s network, and because the improvements are made at the hospital level, benefits are not exclusive to Anthem members.

To facilitate improvement within hospitals, Patient Safety First adopted components of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Breakthrough Series Collaborative Model for Achieving Breakthrough Improvement developed in 1995. This model is a validated learning system that brings together a large number of teams from hospitals or clinics to seek improvement in a focused topic area. Peer-to-peer learning occurs through multidisciplinary hospital teams, peer-to-peer networking and expert speakers. Hospital teams use the knowledge gained through Patient Safety First programs to implement best practices in their hospitals.

For a copy of the report, please visit www.nhfca.org/psf/docs/760.NHF_EndOfYearReport_FINAL.pdf.

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