One Hundred and Fifty Hospitals Show Improvement Via Quality Network Initiative
According to an article in American Medical News journal, 150 hospitals in the U.S. have seen reduced readmission rates, improved emergency care, and better adherence to care standards due to involvement in the Hospital Quality Network. Hospitals that are part of the network participate in monthly conference calls to share best practices and strategies that have improved their hospital quality.
A report from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Aligning Forces for Quality, the organization responsible for starting the Hospital Quality Network in 2010, revealed several successes the hospitals in the network have seen, including:
- 60 percent of hospitals reduced their 30-day readmission rates for patients with heart failure and, in total, avoided close to 500 readmissions
- Three-quarters of hospitals improved how frequently they provided guideline-based care to heart failure patients
- Nearly 60 percent of hospitals cut “boarding time” (i.e., the time between a patient being admitted and moved to a room) in their emergency departments by an average of 30 minutes
The report indicates that hospitals have seen the most improvement with emergency department boarding time. Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, MO set a boarding time goal of 35 minutes and initially met the target 29 percent of the time; now, the hospital meets it 81 percent on the time. To shorten boarding time, Saint Luke’s employs a patient placement coordinator, an individual who tracks room availability and notifies physicians of any backlog.
Robert Graham, MD, director of the Aligning Forces for Quality initiative supported the project by stating, “Sharing ideas while improving the quality of care for patients motivated individuals and gave them a new energy, which resulted in better teamwork, culture change, and system transformation.” Those involved in the network hope to continue testing and adjusting their hospital practices in an attempt to build on the improvements that have already been made by the project.
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