Ohio Business, Healthcare Collaboration Improves Patient Safety, Saves Nearly $13 Million Annually

A unique collaborative effort among business leaders and health care providers to make Ohio the safest place in the nation for healthcare has led to more than $12.8 million in healthcare savings, more than 900 fewer patient days spent in the hospital and nearly 3,600 fewer adverse drug events and infections in children.

The Solutions for Patient Safety initiative, launched in January 2009 and funded with a $1.5 million investment from the Cardinal Health Foundation, is a partnership among the Cardinal Health Foundation, the Ohio Business Roundtable, the Central Ohio Hospital Council, the Ohio Hospital Association, the Ohio Childrens Hospital Association and 25 hospitals throughout the state. The goal of the partnership is to improve quality and reduce costs of health care statewide.

"Cardinal Health is proud to be a founding sponsor and ongoing partner in this groundbreaking initiative that has and will continue to save lives not only throughout Ohio, but across the nation," says George S. Barrett, chairman and CEO of Cardinal Health. "The impressive results of the Solutions for Patient Safety initiative prove that true collaboration among healthcare leaders and clinicians can create meaningful transformation in patient care."

Ohios eight childrens hospitals and 17 Central Ohio hospitals worked to implement specific programs to reduce health care-associated infections (HAIs) and medication errors. Through their work, the hospitals identified data collection protocols and best practice processes that were shared among the institutions and will also be shared with interested outside organizations in Ohio and nationwide.

Specifically, the Central Ohio hospitals focused on reducing catheter-associated blood borne infections and reducing health care-associated methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections. Simultaneously, Ohios childrens hospitals worked to reduce surgical site infection rates for cardiac, neurosurgery, and orthopedic procedures and to reduce medication errors.

Central Ohio hospitals have accomplished an 11 percent reduction in hospital-onset MRSA isolates (incidences of MRSA that occur anywhere on the patient, not just in the bloodstream), a 42 percent reduction in MRSA bloodstream infections and a 37 percent reduction of catheter-associated bloodstream infections. These reductions have saved 14 lives, eliminated an estimated 918 additional patient days spent in the hospital and saved approximately $7.5 million per year in unnecessary healthcare costs in Central Ohio hospitals.

The states childrens hospitals have achieved a 60 percent reduction in surgical site infections and a 34.5 percent reduction in adverse drug events, saving 3,583 children from unnecessary harm and $5.3 million in unnecessary health costs.

"For more than 10 years, statewide and regional efforts to improve quality and patient safety have been underway and yielding substantial results, including the work of the Ohio Childrens Hospital Associations Quality Improvement Collaborative and the Ohio Hospital Associations award-winning quality improvement efforts," says David Engler, PhD, vice president of OHA Quality Institute. "Solutions for Patient Safety was a logical next step for these efforts, as it created opportunities to build quality improvement systems within and across institutions that will have a positive impact on patient care for years to come."

As healthcare providers worked within the clinical setting, the Ohio Business Roundtable worked with the hospitals to engage healthcare leaders and boards of trustees in promoting a culture of safety at Ohios healthcare institutions. More than 135 leaders from businesses across the state participated in three training sessions about how to best promote safety and quality improvement.

"While we work hard to ensure our hospital's board is well versed in and up-to-speed with patient safety and quality issues, the Solutions for Patient Safety training provided us with valuable information about how to better work with our board to foster a culture of safety in our hospital," said William Considine, immediate past chair, Ohio Children's Hospital Association Board of Directors and president and CEO, Akron Children's Hospital.

A final report of the Solutions for Patient Safety results is available at www.solutionsforpatientsafety.com.

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