Duke University Health System, Raleigh, N.C., and LifePoint Hospitals, Brentwood Tenn., have entered a national quality agreement to focus on safety across LifePoint's 60 facilities.
They will create a national quality program that uses tools and best practices from both organizations, which have worked together in a 12-hospital joint venture since 2011.
LifePoint was selected in December 2011 to be a part of the CMS' Hospital Engagement Network, a group of 26 hospitals across the country that share best practice solutions in an effort to limit healthcare-acquired conditions. The Duke Patient Safety Center worked as a HEN subcontractor to assist LifePoint in shaping its safety culture and improving clinical performance.
Dr. Rusty Holman, LifePoint's chief medical officer, said the new program will build upon improvements gained from HEN, and will include a broad assessment of the status of quality and safety at each of the company's hospitals, taking into account each facility's strategic plan and internal capabilities. Duke or LifePoint will then allocate resources to tackle quality or safety issues that come up in facility evaluations.
“It is the consummation of work that we have been doing together with Duke University Health System for a number of years,” Holman said.
LifePoint has already implemented the program at several pilot sites, and is in the process of rolling it out to several existing hospitals, Holman said. The program is set to be completed at all hospitals within the next two years, and is expected to be implemented at any hospitals that LifePoint may acquire in the future.
The Duke Patient Safety Center will offer advanced training capabilities to LifePoint, including clinical protocols and evidence-based practices, Holman said. Officials at Duke will be able to learn about the feasibility of scaling their safety initiatives across as a wide range of hospitals and communities.
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