Ohio Hospitals Endeavor to Eliminate Serious Safety Events


An effort to improve quality and make Ohio the safest state in the nation for healthcare has garnered national attention. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius visited Nationwide Children's Hospital today to celebrate the achievements of Solutions for Patient Safety, a unique collaboration involving Ohio business leaders and health care providers that is working to improve quality and eliminate certain avoidable medical errors.

"Today, the Department of Health and Human Services released its first-ever National Quality Strategy, a ground-breaking roadmap for improving quality and safety nationwide, built on best practices from around the nation," says Sebelius. "Over the last two years, I've visited neighborhoods that are improving health by serving healthier school lunches, met with employers who are bringing down health costs with onsite health clinics, and toured hospitals that are showing that it's possible to improve patient outcomes. That's why I came to Columbus: to recognize Solutions for Patient Safety for their success, to learn how they've done it, and to help their best ideas spread."

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 Children's Hospital Association and 25 hospitals throughout the state. By focusing on reducing infections and adverse drug events, the hospitals collectively achieved nearly $13 million in health care savings, more than 900 fewer patient days spent in the hospital and nearly 3,600 fewer adverse drug events and infections in children.

The state's eight children's hospitals will be building upon the foundation of success realized through Solutions for Patient Safety, in their next effort eliminating Serious Safety Events (SSEs) in Ohio's children's hospitals and developing a patient harm index. The Cardinal Health Foundation has committed an additional $1 million to support the next phase of this initiative, and Solutions for Patient Safety is also working to engage other businesses and organizations at the state and national level to support the continued expansion of this public-private partnership.

The 17 central Ohio hospitals have expanded their work from Solutions for Patient Safety by continuing infection-prevention through monitored hand hygiene with student nurse observers, sharing an iPad compliance application developed by the Quality Institute of OHA with other hospitals statewide and rolling their blood-stream infection prevention efforts into a statewide initiative.

"These efforts to save lives and reduce costs align closely with Governor Kasich's principles for health and economic vitality and the Medicaid modernization strategies that are included in the Executive Budget," said Greg Moody, director of the Governor's Office of Health Transformation. "By eliminating avoidable errors, we not only improve the quality of care, we can reduce costs and save money for individuals, taxpayers and employers. It is a win-win for everyone involved."

"Programs like this promote patient safety, reduce costs, and improve our health care system overall," says U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). "Solutions for Patient Safety has developed a national best practice model on data collection, hand sanitation and cross-hospital collaboration. With this kind of leadership and collaboration, we can drive down health costs and improve patient outcomes."

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