New Jersey hospitals' patient safety program cut costs by $120 million

A collaborative effort of New Jersey's hospitals has borne significant clinical and financial fruit, according to data released by that state's hospital association.

The New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) has reported that the three-year Partnership for Patients-New Jersey, part of the nationwide Partnership for Patients project spearheaded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), led to 13,730 instances where patient harm was averted and a total savings of $120 million in healthcare costs, based on data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Among the qualitative improvements reported by the initiative:

  • Adverse drug events dropped 37.9 percent

  • Hospital readmissions within 30 days declined 7.7 percent

  • Central line-associated bloodstream infections dropped 23.5 percent

  • Surgical site infections from colon surgery dropped 53.6 percent

  • Pressure ulcers declined 27.1 percent

"We are thrilled with these results because they represent real lives positively impacted by the focus and commitment of our hospital teams. Reduced cost for our healthcare system is icing on the cake," said NJHA Chief Executive Officer Betsy Ryan in a statement.

A recently concluded Partnership for Patients initiative in Indiana saved hospitals there $22 million over three years. Researchers have concluded that even a temporary harm that occurs in a hospital setting costs as much as $2,187. The cost more than doubles if the patient suffers a greater harm

Although the initiative has concluded, the NJHA said it would continue to encourage hospitals to better engage patients and their families to ensure that high-quality care is delivered. It also said it is trying to reduce its current sepsis mortality rate of 30 percent by 20 percent.

To learn more:
- read the report (.pdf)
- check out the statement