Minnesota hospitals making patients safer

January 10, 2014

According to its annual patient safety report, hospitals participating in the federal Partnership for Patients Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) have prevented more than 6,200 readmissions; 682 fewer patients developed a pressure ulcer; 512 fewer patients experienced a fall, and 300 early elective deliveries were avoided.

The Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) HEN is one of 26 HENs across the US that are working together to try and reduce ten hospital-acquired conditions by at least 40 per cent, and readmissions by 20 per cent.

Hospitals in the network aim to try and identify solutions to reduce healthcare-acquired conditions and to spread the information to other hospitals and healthcare providers around North America.

Lawrence Massa, president and chief executive of MHA, said the state has been "recognised by other states as a leader in patient safety and quality care".

"Our hospitals have made tremendous strides toward the partnership's goals, but even more there is a greater emphasis on reducing all causes of harm, not just individual conditions."

More than 100 hospitals are participating in the MHA HEN, which is determined to reduce the number of patients being admitted with healthcare-associated infections - often linked to needlestick injuries - (catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central line-associated bloodstream infections, surgical site infections and ventilator-associated events), injuries from falls, obstetrical adverse events including elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks gestation, pressure ulcers, preventable readmissions and venous thromboembolism. 

Among the achievements made by the MHA HEN, the network has managed to achieve an 83 per cent reduction in the number of pressure ulcers since 2010, making the state significantly below the national average.

It also recorded more than 6,200 fewer readmissions since 2009, a 27 per cent drop in the number of patients falling, a 23 per cent reduction in catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), as well as a 28 per cent decrease in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI).

The MHA HEN achieved this by promoting the implementation of evidence-based strategies through the Call to Action framework to reduce healthcare-acquired conditions. It provides the clinical best practices, as well as the necessary infrastructure, to help hospitals achieve quality measurement goals and embed sustainable best practices. 

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