Patient safety efforts save Indiana hospitals $22M

An Indiana patient harm reduction campaign saved more than $22 million over three years, according to research from the Indiana Hospital Association's (IHA) Indiana Patient Safety Center (IPSC).

Between 2012 and 2014, more than 100 hospitals in the state, under the banner of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Partnership for Patients initiative, worked to reduce patient harms and generate savings in 11 categories, including adverse drug events, early elective deliveries, pressure ulcers and readmissions. This continues a trend of positive results for Partnership for Patients programs, although last year, healthcare experts questioned the validity of CMS findings that the program improved outcomes, arguing that lack of transparency and faulty study design and methods make its claims of improvement unreliable, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

The hospitals' efforts, which included heightened training as well as data tracking and reporting, prevented 4,690 harms during the study period, according to the IPSC. These outcomes generated savings of $22.3 million. More specifically, the IPSC interventions prevented 1,254 avoidable readmissions, saving $11 million, and prevented 110 venuous thromboembolisms, which saved $2 million.

"We are extremely proud of the results achieved during the Partnership for Patients campaign that highlight the tremendous accomplishments of our hospitals and reflect leadership commitment to quality and patient safety," IHA President Doug Leonard said in a statement.

The IPSC's success backs up research indicating a culture of patient safety, beyond improving outcomes, drives hospitals' financial returns as well; a study at Florida's Adventist Health System found temporary harms cost hospitals $2,187 per patient, and more severe harms cost providers $4,617. Concentrated patient safety improvements at Adventist's 24 hospitals saved $108 million overall and reduced negative margin contributions $18 million, FierceHealthFinance previously reported.

To learn more:
- read the results (.pdf)
- here's the announcement