Minnesota Hospital Association


December 16, 2011

Minnesota Hospital Association awarded key federal "Partnership of Patients" contract

Organization is among 26 nationwide chosen to work on patient safety initiatives

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) is one of 26 organizations nationwide that has been awarded a key federal contract to help hospitals prevent avoidable hospital-acquired conditions (HAC) and readmissions.

As a part of the Partnership for Patients initiative, MHA will identify solutions that are already working and work to spread those solutions to other hospitals and health-care providers.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has committed up to $1 billion in Affordable Care Act funding to help achieve the Partnership for Patients goals. Efforts will be aimed at decreasing preventable HACs by 40 percent and preventing hospital readmissions by 20 percent, both by 2013.

Wednesday’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is great news for Minnesota patients, said Minnesota Hospital Association President and Chief Executive Officer Lawrence Massa.

“It is a credit to the good reputation that Minnesota hospitals enjoy that we were chosen among so many to be part of this important initiative,” he said. “This program will help ensure that Minnesota hospitals will continue to be at the forefront of the nation in delivering safe, high-quality care to patients.”

Officials believe the program will reach and improve patient care in 3,500 to 4,000 hospitals. Twelve other state hospital associations also won contracts.

As part of its work, MHA will add three staff members to its patient safety team to provide members training and technical assistance. Specifically, during the next two years, MHA will work to build upon the myriad multi-disciplinary patient safety efforts the association already oversees or collaborates upon, such as:

  • MHA’s five patient safety campaigns or calls to action, which work to prevent the top most-reported adverse health events;
  • Minnesota’s Reducing Avoidable Readmissions Effectively campaign;
  • the Transforming Care at the Bedside initiative;
  • Minnesota Alliance for Patient Safety work to continue to transform the safety culture at hospitals so that employees at every level of the organization feel as though they can speak up to prevent adverse health events, no matter the rank of other employees involved in any such potential adverse health event.

MHA will provide education and technical assistance for members on the following 10 areas:

  • adverse drug events;
  • catheter-associated urinary tract infections;
  • central line-associated bloodstream infections;
  • injuries from falls and immobility;
  • obstetrical adverse events;
  • pressure ulcers;
  • surgical-site infections;
  • venous thromboembolism;
  • ventilator-associated pneumonia; and
  • preventable readmissions.

MHA will measure and track hospital performance; provide ongoing status and quarterly updates to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; and partner and collaborate with other “hospital engagement networks.”

The association’s supporters in this endeavor are: the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, Stratis Health, the Minnesota Department of Health, the Minnesota Medical Association, the Minnesota Alliance for Patient Safety and VHA Upper Midwest.

Launched in April 2011, Partnership for Patients seeks to prevent 1.8 million injuries to patients in the hospital, saving more than 60,000 lives over three years. It also seeks to make care less costly. Funding is being channeled through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center, which was created by the Affordable Care Act.

“Partnership fo rPatients is helping the nation’s finest health systems share their knowledge and resources to make sure every hospital knows how to provide all of its patients with the highest quality care,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in an HHS news release.

For more information on the Partnership for Patients, visit http://www.healthcare.gov/partnershipforpatients.

The Minnesota Hospital Association represents Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems.