A report from the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative (IHC) claims hospitals across the state that participate in a program designed to reduce medical errors prevented potential harm to more than 4,300 patients last year. Scott McIntyre, spokesman for the Iowa Hospital Association, says the effort is part of the federal Partnership for Patients initiative, with the goals of reducing harm by 40 percent and hospital readmissions by 20 percent. “We just feel there’s been very positive and noteworthy progress,” McIntrye says. “In reality, we’re keeping people out of the hospital…and we’re saving lives.”
The report estimates at least 32 lives were saved in Iowa in 2013 because of the Hospital Engagement Network (HEN). The Iowa-based HEN, which includes 12 hospitals in Illinois and Nebraska, also reduced health care costs, according to McIntrye. “Our estimate is about 51-million dollars was saved because of the improvements in these quality measures,” McIntyre says.
In addition to reducing costs, McIntyre says the Iowa HEN reduced the time that patients spent in the participating hospitals by 17,758 days. The report also claims participating hospitals reduced early elective baby deliveries (which can increase complications) by 90 percent; catheter associated urinary tract infections by 44 percent; adverse drug events by 28 percent; central line-associated blood stream infections in intensive care by 24 percent; surgical site infections by 24 percent; patient falls by 23 percent; and avoidable readmissions by 11 percent.