An Ohio-led patient-safety initiative that expanded nationally in 2012 has saved participating hospitals in the state nearly $6 million over two years, while sparing more than 200 Ohio children from healthcare-related illnesses and other injuries, according to data released Wednesday by the Ohio Children's Hospitals' Solutions for Patient Safety, a hospital coalition dedicated to preventing hospital-related harm.
“True culture change has happened at these institutions. This isn't just one person ... this is everyone thinking differently,” said Dianne Radigan, vice president of community relations for Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal Health, which spearheaded the coalition's launch, along with the Ohio Children's Hospital Association.
The Ohio coalition was asked by the CMS' Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation in 2011 to become a national network. That expansion began in 2012.
Organizers said they have made major strides in preventing hospital-acquired infections and other types of harm thanks to “bundles of care”—step-by-step best practices for avoiding specific potentially harmful incidents. Those best practices have been developed by clinicians at the 85 children's hospitals nationwide involved in the safety coalition.
The coalition disclosed its results from a period spanning January 2012 through October 2014, using a baseline rate for hospital-acquired harm to estimate the total number of events that would have occurred in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and then subtracted from that the actual number of events that occurred.
Though officials say cost is not a major concern in reducing patient harm, it's estimated that the prevented incidents saved Ohio children's hospitals nearly $6 million during the time frame studied, while across the nation, member hospitals were estimated to have saved over $61 million. Nationally, an estimated 2,500 incidents of harm were prevented in the two-year time frame.
Significant achievements in Ohio included 70 prevented adverse drug events and 85 prevented central line–associated bloodstream infections prevented from January 2012 to October 2014. Nationally, 551 falls and 327 surgical-site infections were estimated to have been prevented.
Coalition members have agreed not to compete on patient safety, but rather to share information on how to keep improving, said Nick Lashutka, president of the Ohio Children's Hospital Association.
“Not matter how we're doing, we know we can do better,” Lashutka said. “This is not a destination, this is a journey.”
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