Colorado Trust grants aimed at improving patient safety

Filed under: Health Care |

Penrose-St. Francis Hospital is one of 45 hospitals in Colorado that is participating in the “5 Million Lives Campaign,” a nationwide effort designed to curtail practices that lead to patient injuries and death.
To support the nationwide effort, designed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the Colorado Trust has given participating Colorado hospitals and support groups grants totaling $3.9 million.
The 45 acute-care hospitals received grants averaging $40,000 to participate in the campaign. An additional $255,000 will provide resources for staff at participating hospitals to attend learning and networking events throughout the 18-month campaign. Additionally, $5,000 grants from The Colorado Trust are available to the state’s 29 other hospitals to participate in educational programs and technical assistance training.
The Colorado Hospital Association will receive $90,000 to work with participating hospitals’ CEOs and boards of directors to provide professional development and leadership training.
The Colorado Foundation for Medical Care, the state’s health care quality improvement organization, will receive $535,000 to share knowledge among the hospitals and provide technical assistance support to the hospitals. As components of this technical assistance, the Colorado Rural Health Center will work with participating hospitals to address rural patient safety issues and help hospitals develop communications that support the spread and sustainability of interventions among staff and patients.
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement will receive $120,000 to support professional development for hospital front-line providers and quality improvement directors focused on the science of improvement.
The campaign will implement systems and safeguards that prevent problems such as hospital-acquired infections, adverse drug events, surgical errors, pressure ulcers and other complications.
The effort is to prevent 5 million incidents that could cause patient harm or death during a two-year period.
The grants build on the success of the 100,000 Lives Campaign, the institute’s first effort to assist hospitals with patient safety protocols by instituting six improvement practices within hospitals. The campaign exceeded its goal — participating hospitals across the country saved an estimated 122,300 lives by implementing changes in patient care recommended by IHI and other initiatives.
In Colorado, the trust supported 62 hospitals during the campaign, representing 96 percent of all hospital beds in the state.
The new campaign will add six improvement practices, including the first non-clinical intervention focused on greater trustee engagement and accountability for reducing medical harm.
Hospitals adopt 12 interventions to improve care, with the goal of protecting patients from 5 million incidents of harm.
The interventions include rapid response at the first sign of patient decline, making certain that patients receive the right medications at every transfer point in care, adherence to best practices known to prevent heart attacks and ventilator-associated pneumonia, reduction of infections and drug-resistant staph, reduction of bed sores and incorporating hospital leadership into patient safety efforts.

Aetna provides cost information

In the age of increased transparency in health care, one insurance company is providing more information about the costs of several surgical procedures.
Aetna has a Web-based resource that allows members to compare the cost ranges for services provided at specific facilities.
The site shows a range for the costs of more than 30 common procedures — including colonoscopies and hysterectomies — from admission through discharge. This includes the facility charges, physician fees and any supplementary charges such as anesthesia services.
Aetna started offering physician-specific pricing information two years ago.
Research shows that consumers vastly underestimate the cost of health care. For example, the average consumer believes that a day in the hospital costs a little more than $1,000 — the actual cost is three times that amount.
Surveys also show that the majority of Americans are demanding specific cost information, with more than 80 percent indicating that hospitals and physicians should be required to disclose the cost of medical services to the public.
The Web site also provides physician-specific clinical quality and efficiency information, as well as price transparency.
Amy Gillentine covers health care for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.