Carolinas HealthCare saves $17M, reduces HAIs, readmissions

An initiative to catch errors at the point of care and prevent incidents of patient harm helped the Carolinas HealthCare System save more than $17 million in care costs from 2012 to 2013.

The system prevented an estimated 4,400 patient-safety events ranging from hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), readmissions and adverse drug reactions, according to an announcement about the initiative.

The Carolinas HealthCare System Hospital Engagement Network--a collaborative of 29 hospitals created through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Partnership for Patients initiative--received $4.3 million in 2011 to improve patient care and control costs. CMS also provided an additional $4.6 million in 2013 to improve safety and outcomes. 

As a result of the program, the system experienced a 22 percent decrease in 30-day readmissions related to heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia in 2013, and a 14 percent drop in all diagnoses. It also saw reductions in early elective deliveries (73 percent) and pressure ulcers (51 percent) between 2012 and 2013, and ventilator-associated pneumonia (53 percent) in 2012.

By the end of 2014, the system hopes the initiative will reduce HAIs by 40 percent and cut 30-day readmissions by 20 percent.  

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality credited the Partnership for Patients initiative in part for hospitals nationwide improving 75 percent of care quality measures, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- read the announcement