Statewide hospitals-BlueCross partnership saved $11M in hospital-associated conditions

A statewide patient safety initiative between hospitals in Tennessee and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation helped to cut incident rates and save more than $11 million in hospital-acquired patient conditions, according to a press release today.

The Tennessee Center for Patient Safety, as it's called, showed a 36 percent improvement in central line infections between 2008 and 2010 for savings of $4.8 million, a 21 percent drop in Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) for $2 million in savings, and between 15 to 60 percent improvement in surgical complications for $4.5 million in cost savings, according to the press release .

As one of the first state centers to gain widespread participation from hospitals, the Tennessee Center for Patient Safety has gained 94-percent participation from the state's acute care hospitals (122 hospitals in the state).

"Without reservation, Tennessee and the Tennessee Center for Patient Safety are doing exceptional work. The state is among the best in the nation at engaging hospitals and taking action to achieve continuous learning and patient safety improvement," said patient safety advocate Dr. Peter J. Pronovost director of the Johns Hopkins Quality and Safety Research Institute in Baltimore.

As hospitals continue to monitor their own patient safety rates (and wallets), they might consider partnerships with insurers under state initiatives or accountable care models that could even cross state borders.

For more information:
- check out the Tennessee Center for Patient Safety website
- read the press release

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