And in Michi­gan

Modern Healthcare - - Opinions Letters - Spencer John­son Pres­i­dent Michi­gan Health & Hospi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion Lans­ing Scott Matthew Bol­hack, Physi­cian Tuc­son, Ariz.

Mod­ern Health­care’s “Safety ef­forts rise, but gains hard to rank” story (Dec. 21/28, 2009, “Looking Back on 2009,” p. 26) seems to have over­looked the mea­sur­able break­throughs hap­pen­ing in Michi­gan.

In part­ner­ship with the Michi­gan Health & Hospi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion Key­stone Cen­ter for Pa­tient Safety & Qual­ity, hos­pi­tals have achieved dra­matic and quan­ti­fied im­prove­ments in health­care safety and qual­ity.

Since 2003, the MHA Key­stone Cen­ter has im­ple­mented ev­i­dence-based in­ter­ven­tions that have helped par­tic­i­pat­ing hos­pi­tals to save lives and re­duce costs through sci­en­tific meth­ods and best prac­tices.

The MHA Key­stone Cen­ter op­er­ates var­i­ous vol­un­tary col­lab­o­ra­tive ini­tia­tives guided by state and na­tional pa­tientsafety ex­perts. In five years, MHA Key­stone: In­ten­sive Care Unit saved 1,830 lives and more than $271 mil­lion in health­care costs, and avoided more than 140,700 ex­cess hospi­tal days for pa­tients. MHA Key­stone: Hospi­tal-As­so­ci­ated In­fec­tion has in­creased ap­pro­pri­ate hospi­tal hand-hy­giene com­pli­ance to more than twice the na­tional av­er­age. Its work to re­duce un­nec­es­sary uri­nary catheter use has avoided an es­ti­mated 1,000 ex­cess hospi­tal days and $1 mil­lion in costs.

The MHA Key­stone Cen­ter re­sults have been pub­lished in the New Eng­land Jour­nal of Medicine and Bri­tish Med­i­cal Jour­nal, and its process has been en­dorsed by the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion, adopted by other coun­tries and ex­panded into other states. HHS has rec­og­nized MHA Key­stone as a “suc­cess story” that can serve as a model for Amer­i­can health­care re­form. To an­swer the ques­tion, “Is care now safer?” the an­swer must be “Yes.”

This story is re­peated everyday in our coun­try a thou­sand times over. In lieu of all work­ing to­ward the same goal, we rather pro­tect the fi­nan­cial health of our si­los while talk­ing the good talk. There is a cost for care for our ill­nesses but it would ap­pear that the goal is to have the other en­tity pay for it, whether it’s the in­di­vid­ual, in­sur­ance com­pany, hospi­tal, skilled-nurs­ing fa­cil­ity, etc. Our web of rules and reg­u­la­tions set down by our gov­ern­ment via the CMS has cre­ated the most ou­tra­geous re­sponses by our health­care busi­nesses imag­in­able.

John­son

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