Illinois hospitals reduce adverse events and infections, but readmissions flatline

Illinois hospitals successfully reduced preventable harmful events, such as pressure ulcers, patient falls and catheter-associated urinary tract infections in 2012, according to a new report from the Illinois Hospital Association (IHA).

In 2012, 200 Illinois hospitals successfully prevented 843 instances of patient harm, resulting in a savings of more than $18 million, according to the report. The IHA reports that hospitals had the most success with preventing central line-associated bloodstream infections, reducing them by 29.2 percent as of the first quarter of 2013 and saving approximately $7.4 million. The hospitals reduced adverse drug events, the most common adverse events, by 1.9 percent, according to the report.

The IHA analyzed the following categories:

  • Pressure ulcers;

  • Ventilator-associated pneumonia;

  • Adverse events during infant delivery;

  • Patient falls;

  • Central line-associated bloodstream infections;

  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infections;

  • Surgical-site infections;

  • Adverse drug events;

  • All-cause readmissions; and

  • Venous thromboembolism.

Preventable readmissions, however, remained at approximately 14 percent from 2011 to 2012. However, the report noted, Illinois hospitals improved their nationwide ranking in overall average readmission penalty, moving from 45th to 40th place.

In addition, for the first time, no Illinois hospitals will receive the maximum readmission penalty for 2012, compared to the 20 that received it last year. Furthermore, CMS will penalize 73 out of 127 hospitals at a lower rate than the previous year, according to the report.

"Illinois hospitals and healthcare systems are to be commended for their strong commitment to achieving the highest-quality patient care--ensuring that every patient gets the right care, at the right time, in the right setting," IHA president and CEO Maryjane Wurth told the Chicago Sun-Times.

The report was released as part of the "Raising the Bar" initiative, which the IHA's Quality Care Institute established in 2010. Nearly 200 facilities signed onto the initiative, which aims to cut 30-day readmissions and hospital-acquired conditions, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- here's the report (.pdf)
- read the Chicago Sun-Times article