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Help the public to understand all that you do during Patient Safety Awareness Week'

February 22, 2013

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This is “Patient Safety Awareness Week,” when the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) – an AHA partner on numerous quality initiatives – encourages hospitals and other health care organizations to host local activities promoting awareness of the need to continually improve patient safety and to involve the public in those improvement efforts.

This year’s theme, “Patient Safety 7/365,” reminds health care professionals and health care consumers that providing safe patient care requires constant dedication and effort, 365 days a year.

National Patient Safety Awareness Week offers an opportunity for you to engage your patients and their families, consumers and the community in your efforts to improve safety. It’s also an important opportunity to raise awareness of the job you do every day to improve care and reduce the potential for harm.

And as you focus on doing what is best for patients, the AHA will continue to keep our focus on getting you the resources and support you need to enhance the good work that is already under way. Efforts like the AHA’s
Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence initiative, nationwide implementation of the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program for reducing central lineassociated bloodstream and catheter-related bloodstream infections – projects coordinated by our Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) affiliate – HRET’s Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) and local programs led by hospital associations across the country are helping you continue the journey to improvement.

Speaking of the HEN, the HRET program supports the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Partnership for Patients campaign – a public-private project that seeks to help hospitals adopt practices that have the potential to reduce inpatient harm and readmissions. HRET helps identify solutions already working to reduce healthcare-acquired conditions, and shares them with the nearly 1,600 hospitals participating in the HEN. The HEN also provides training programs to help hospital leaders improve patient care and assists in establishing a system to track progress in meeting measurable goals. HRET’s annual report for 2012 spotlighted several HEN success stories. Some examples: More than two-thirds of Colorado’s hospitals report central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) rates in their intensive care units (ICU) of less than 1% and half of adult ICUs reported a zero infection rate.

Hospitals participating in the Colorado Hospital Association’s readmissions collaborative report a nearly 25% drop in “all cause” readmissions in targeted populations.
An all cause readmission is when patients are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days, because they developed a problem unrelated to the reason for their initial admission for hospital care. Colorado hospitals reported a 66% reduction in “same or related case” readmissions.

The Illinois Hospital Association reports that hospitals participating in the HEN program in the state last year showed a 67% reduction in catheter-related bloodstream infections. The Louisiana Hospital Association partnered with eQHealth Solutions, a Baton Rouge-based health care management company, on a project to reduce CLABSIs. Thirteen Louisiana hospitals participated in the first phase of the project and reduced their infection rates from 4.1 per 1,000 central line days to 0.4. For more on HRET’s annual report, click on:
http://tinyurl.com/bnjdpu2.

The doors of a hospital never close, and the public continually expects you to deliver high-quality care. By seizing every opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to continuously improve health care, hospitals can fulfill their promise of providing the best care possible to every patient who walks through their doors.

For more on “Patient Safety Awareness Week,” go to
www.npsf.org. And to watch an NPSF video on promoting better communication between providers and patients and their families, click on: http://tinyurl.com/cgr6mmz.