Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin Hospitals Partner for Quality Improvement

In September, the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA), Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA) and Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) launched a joint quality improvement program— the Great Lakes Partners for Patients —as part of a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN) contract, according to a press release.

This unique partnership unites the quality improvement strengths of three statewide hospital associations, guiding participating members through a variety of best practices, resources and collaboratives, to reduce hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions over the course of three years. This announcement is part of a broader effort to transform our healthcare system into one that works better for the American people and for the Medicare program.

The partnership builds on the quality improvement work of the MHA, IHA and WHA through CMS’ national Partnership for Patients (PfP) Hospital Engagement Networks (HEN) 1.0 and 2.0, contracts awarded from 2011 to 2015. The work of the Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks (HIINs) builds on the ambitious multi-year HEN programs, which have supported 3,700 of the nation’s hospitals in addressing the full spectrum of patient harm.

“We have made significant progress in keeping patients safe – an estimated 2.1 million fewer patients harmed, 87,000 lives saved, and nearly $20 billion in cost savings from 2010 to 2014 – and we are focused on accelerating improvement efforts,” said Patrick Conway, M.D., CMS acting principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer. “The work of the Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks will allow us to continue to improve healthcare safety across the nation and reduce readmissions at a national scale – keeping people as safe and healthy as possible.”

More than 330 hospitals and health systems from Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin are expected to participate in the Great Lakes Partners for Patients.

“Our partnership with IHA and WHA builds upon the extensive learning network developed for Michigan hospitals over the past decade, including four years under HEN 1.0 and 2.0,” said Sam R. Watson, executive director of the MHA Keystone Center and the MHA’s senior vice president of patient safety and quality. “Our multi-state partnership with IHA in HEN 2.0, which has now expanded with WHA in HIIN under the Great Lakes Partners for Patients, gives our organizations the opportunity to share solutions that have been successful in rural, urban and suburban communities across Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin. The partnership allows us to continue implementing innovations necessary to achieve goals to prevent harm, save lives and lower healthcare costs.”

“HIIN gives our organizations the opportunity to continue to help our members fulfill their mission of being high-reliability organizations. It also allows us to create a learning health ecosystem for improvement—the foundational cornerstone for transformational change—to accelerate optimal health outcomes across the continuum,” said IHA President & CEO A.J. Wilhelmi. “The Great Lakes Partners for Patients program is a catalyst for change at the local, state and national levels.”

“WHA has partnered with Michigan and Illinois on improvement work in the past, so this work is a natural extension of existing relationships,” said Kelly Court, WHA chief quality officer. “We look forward to continuing our work on these important aspects of hospital care.”

Over the next three years, Great Lakes Partners for Patients hospitals will focus on addressing the following 11 types of inpatient harm:

  • Adverse drug events
  • Central line-associated blood stream infections
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infections
  • Clostridium difficile bacterial infection, including antibiotic stewardship
  • Injury from falls and immobility
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Sepsis and septic shock
  • Surgical site infections
  • Venous thromboembolism
  • Ventilator-associated events
  • Readmissions

Through 2019, these Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks will work to achieve a 20% decrease in overall patient harm and a 12% reduction in 30-day hospital readmissions as a population-based measure (readmissions per 1,000 people) from the 2014 baseline. Efforts to address health equity for Medicare beneficiaries will be central to the Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks efforts. CMS will monitor and evaluate the activities of the Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks to ensure that they are generating results and improving patient safety.

The PfP model is one of the first models established in 2011 to be tested under the authority of section 1115A of the Social Security Act (the Act) with the goal of reducing program expenditures while preserving or enhancing the quality of care. Since the launch of the PfP and the work of HENs in collaboration with many other stakeholders, the vast majority of U.S. hospitals have delivered results as demonstrated by the achievement of unprecedented national reductions in harm. CMS believes that the upcoming work of the HIINs, working as part of the Quality Improvement Organization’s work to improve patient safety and the quality of care in the Medicare program, will continue the great strides made in improving care provided to beneficiaries.

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