We have eight years of data to prove it works. Just a few of the achievements:
- Reduced surgical site infections by 60%
- Decreased ventilator-associated pneumonia by 70%
- Reduced serious safety events by 70%
- Improved patient flow to increase bed capacity 15%
- Reduced unnecessary hospitalizations for common conditions such as asthma and bronchiolitis
We have the power today to reform our health delivery model from within, leading to improved quality of life (kids spend less time in the hospital); improved quality of care (fewer infections and disease); and lower cost (we've saved about $14 million in health insurance claims in just a couple of years).
Translate these savings across the country and we have a win-win: healthier outcomes for millions and lower costs in the billions.
Healthcare reform is complicated. Real quality improvement cannot exist without transparency. Transparency needs to occur among providers so we can learn from one another, and with the public so they can begin to decipher what quality of care really means.
It's a win-win. Investing in improving quality and safety is the right thing to do for patients, and happily, it's also the smart thing to do for the business of healthcare. Other industries know the link between high quality and cost effectiveness; we're just learning that in healthcare.
Lawmakers have asked us what they can do to help us. I urge them to talk with healthcare providers about how to improve care—that's what we all want. We ask Congress and the administration to support and encourage hospitals and physicians to invest resources of time, money and effort in quality improvement.
This will lead us where we want to go—whether we're patients, caregivers or healthcare executives. It will mean improved health for all Americans.
James Anderson is president and CEO of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.