AHA event – great start for patient safety goals

Blog by Kristin Jenkins, President of the DFWHC Foundation

It was an honor to attend the American Hospital Association (AHA) Leadership Conference, July 27-29 in San Diego. I was present with Patti Taylor, the DFW Hospital Council (DFWHC) Foundation’s director of quality and patient safety. We were there as a team representing our local Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET) Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN).

If you’ve not heard, an estimated 125,000 fewer patients died in hospitals and approximately $28 billion in costs were saved due to reductions in hospital acquired conditions. These impressive numbers occurred during a period of concerted attention by U.S. hospitals to reduce adverse events, including the work of the DFWHC Foundation and hospitals participating in the Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) and HEN 2.0.

Today, the HRET HIIN has over 1,600 hospitals and 32 state hospital associations participating. A big team indeed. The HRET HIIN will pursue the ambitious new goals of reducing inpatient harm by 20 percent and readmissions by 12 percent by 2019.

We attended the conference with Jan Compton, vice president of patient safety and quality for Baylor Scott & White Health; Karen Grant, quality analyst at Baylor Scott & White Health Hillcrest Medical Center; MonaLiza Gaw, executive director of quality at JPS Health Network; and Wanda Peebles, chief nursing officer at JPS Health Network.

This year’s AHA event was themed “The Journey Ahead: Advancing Health in America.” The purpose was to join with healthcare leaders from across the country to plan these important patient safety goals. We are grateful to our HIIN hospitals, the AHA and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation in working with us to improve care for our patients.

The teamwork and cooperation displayed was astounding – everyone sharing their successes and challenges. We still have a long way to go, but this was a great start.