Texas Health Care to Focus on Improving Patient Safety

Austin, TX – At the forefront of health care is a push for individuals to become more active, engaged participants in their care. The upcoming Texas Partnership for Patients Conference in Austin focuses on how providers can practice patient-centered care and improve coordination for patients who transition across different health care provider types.

The educational event for health care providers, sponsored by leading health care organizations The Texas Center for Quality & Patient Safety, TMF Health Quality Institute and the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation, emphasizes patient safety and preventive health to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations.

“Texas health care providers are focusing on the full range of factors that lead to unnecessary hospitalizations and how these affect not only patients but communities and the health care system as a whole,” said Earl E. Smith, III, MD, TMF’s Chief Medical Officer. “This conference provides a closer look into what we can do now to reduce rehospitalizations and improve the care experience for patients.”

Readmitting patients to the hospital within a month of discharge is a frequent—and costly—occurrence. Almost 25 percent of heart failure patients on Medicare, for example, are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge. The federal government says avoidable hospital readmissions cost the Medicare program billions of dollars a year.

Rather than focusing on the patient’s care in one particular setting (a doctor’s office or nursing home, for example), the conference takes a cross-setting approach to education that integrates outpatient physician office care with inpatient acute care.

Laura Townsend of the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation will deliver the keynote address. Townsend co-founded the Foundation in honor of her mother who passed away due to a medical error associated with a routine knee surgery. She will focus on empowering patients and families to be active participants in their health care.

Patrick Conway, MD, MSc, Chief Medical Officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), will provide a firsthand look at CMS’ approach to physician office quality reporting and measurement.

Additional sessions focus on topics such as health literacy, patients’ perception of care, cardiac care in women, the Million Hearts™ initiative, reducing hospital-acquired infections and conditions and improving patients’ transitions between care settings.

“The conference will bring together the best of Texas’ hospitals and staff who focus every day on improving care for Texans. Best practices in patient safety and patient engagement will be shared transparently between providers in an effort to accelerate the learning process,” said Kristin Jenkins, JD, MBA, FACHE, President of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation.

The conference takes its name from the national Partnership for Patients initiative, which aims to reduce hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and hospital readmissions by 20 percent. The larger goal is to engage patients in their care and provide for continuity across the continuum of care.

“Texas hospitals have taken proactive steps, such as engaging with the Texas Center for Quality & Patient Safety’s Partnership for Patients, which has led to tangible results in decreases in hospital-acquired infection rates,” said Mitzi Ressman, RN, FACHE, Executive Director of the Texas Center for Quality & Patient Safety.

Approximately 300 health care providers from various care settings are registered to attend the free conference in Austin, and several hundred more will attend remotely through a live webstream. For more information, including the full agenda and featured speakers, visit http://tinyurl.com/TexasP4P.

Texas Partnership for Patients Conference
Date: April 30 – May 1

Location: The Westin Hotel at the Domain in Austin
Attend on-site or through a live Internet webstream; continuing education credit offered for physicians, nurses and social workers.
Sponsors: Texas Center for Quality & Patient Safety, TMF Health Quality Institute and the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation