Hospitals continue to improve patient care, according to results from the second round of the AHA/Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) Hospital Engagement Network (HEN), part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Partnership for Patients initiative.
The HRET HEN initiative marked a concerted effort by more than 1,500 hospitals to improve care across 11 areas, including prevention of hospital infections, falls, early elective maternal deliveries and preventable readmissions.
Among other findings, the AHA/HRET HEN helped hospitals reduce early elective deliveries by 44%, post-operative venous thromboembolisms by 34% and surgical site infections by 21% over the past year, preventing more than 34,000 incidents with an associated cost savings of nearly $300 million.
“Improving care is a never-ending march toward perfection, and no number of accolades will slow that march,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “Patients have high expectations about the care hospitals provide, and getting to zero patient safety incidents is the goal of every hospital. Continued progress will be made as hospitals share what they learned through the HEN project with the rest of the field.”
The overall goal of the Partnership for Patients program was to reduce hospital-acquired conditions by 40% and readmissions by 20%.
HENs find best practices that reduce hospital-acquired conditions and share them with other providers. The HEN 2.0 project built upon the success of the initial HEN project, which prevented more than 92,000 hospital-acquired conditions and saved nearly $1 billion in avoided health care costs over a three-year period from January 2012 through November 2014.
The AHA/HRET HEN 2.0 relied on five core strategies to assist hospitals. It distributed evidence, tools and best practices to the field; offered coaching and technical assistance; spurred on peer-to-peer sharing; fostered increased capability and capacity in quality improvement; and deployed cross-cutting strategies.