A powerful example of hospital collaboration for better patient care is what we were able to accomplish through the Hospital Engagement Network, or HEN, part of the federal Partnership for Patients initiative. The AHA-affiliated Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) administers the largest HEN.  Over a four-year period from 2010-2014, a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality—which included results from the 26 original HENs across the country—showed a 17 percent reduction in overall incidents.  That translates into 87,000 lives saved and $19.8 billion in cost savings.  Of course, there is still much to do. Getting to zero patient safety incidents is the goal of every hospital.  Hospitals will continue the journey to becoming high reliability organizations as we work with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services under a new program – the Hospital Improvement Innovation Network – announced yesterday by the agency. Its goal is to further reduce readmissions and patient safety incidents. The entire hospital field will embrace the ambitious goals proposed by CMS under the next phase of its patient safety project, and their shared energy and passion will accelerate the work to make health care safer for patients and families.

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