Tennessee Hospital Association Receives Award to Improve Patient Safety

BALTIMORE, MD. Dec. 15, 2011—The Tennessee Hospital Association (THA) is one of 26 organizations with new resources and support to help hospitals make health care safer and less costly by targeting and reducing preventable injuries and complications from hospital-acquired conditions.

As a part of the Partnership for Patients initiative, a nationwide public-private collaboration to improve the quality, safety and affordability of health care for all Americans, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced $218 million will go to 26 state, regional, national or hospital system organizations – including $2.3 million to THA. As hospital engagement networks (HENs), these organizations will help identify ways to reduce hospital-acquired conditions, and work to spread them to other hospitals and healthcare providers.

“Winning a hospital engagement network contract is just one more step toward assuring Tennessee patients will be taken care of in the safest possible environment,” said Craig A. Becker, THA president and chief executive officer. “Working with our other partners, the quality improvement organization and the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, THA is committed to achieving zero preventable harm in the hospitals of our state.”

The Partnership for Patients brings together leaders of major hospitals, employers, physicians, nurses and patient advocates, along with state and federal governments, in a shared effort to make hospital care safer, more reliable and less costly. The HENs are a key part of that initiative, and will be funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center, which was established by the Affordable Care Act.

The HENs will 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 and implement a system to track and monitor hospital progress in meeting quality improvement goals. The activities of the HENs will be closely monitored by CMS to ensure they are improving patient safety.

“At some point in our lives, many of us are going to need hospital care and we need to be confident that no matter where we live, we’re going to get the best care in the world,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “The Partnership for Patients is helping the nation’s finest health systems share their knowledge and resources to make sure every hospital knows how to provide all of its patients with the highest quality care.”

Launched in April 2011, the Partnership for Patients now consists of more than 6,500 partners, including over 3,167 hospitals, along with employers, health plans, physicians, nurses, patient advocates, and state and federal government officials that have pledged to work together to reduce the number of hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and reduce hospital readmissions by 20 percent by the end of 2013.

Achieving the Partnership for Patients’ objectives would mean approximately 1.8 million fewer injuries to patients in the hospital, saving over 60,000 lives over three years, and would mean more than 1.6 million patients to recover from illness without suffering a preventable complication requiring re-hospitalization. 

THA, founded in 1938, serves as an advocate for hospitals, health systems, home health agencies and other healthcare organizations and the patients they serve. The association offers products and services through THA Solutions Group, Inc. and the Tennessee Hospital Education and Research Foundation, Inc., its nonprofit education program.

For more information on the Partnership for Patients, please visit http://www.healthcare.gov/partnershipforpatients


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