Groups launch hospital quality project

Premier Inc. and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement today announced an initiative to improve patient care quality and outcomes in 166 non-profit hospitals in 31 states. During the three-year QUEST project, participating hospitals will share best practices and systematically initiate efforts to reduce mortality rates and inpatient costs while improving patient safety, reducing healthcare-associated infections and enhancing patients’ care experience. Once concluded, Premier plans to share information on how the hospitals improved with the health care community.


According to the news release, patient mortality could be reduced by 17 percent and reliability of care could improve by nearly 13 percent if the not-for-profit hospitals participating in a nationwide collaborative attained the project’s quality goals, according to an analysis released today. Of the approximately 2.3 million patients treated annually by hospitals participating in the project, achieving these top performance goals translates to 8,628 lives saved and 22,364 additional patients receiving all appropriate evidence-based care measures each year.


Using benchmarked data from the Premier healthcare alliance’s clinical database, Premier and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) identified the main factors that lead to deaths, errors and excessive costs. Using this information, hospitals are able to share best practices and systematically initiate efforts proven to dramatically improve quality and patient outcomes. QUEST’s three-year performance improvement targets are to:

•· Save lives – Achieve a mortality rate that is 17 percent less than expected.

•· Safely reduce the cost of care – Reduce inpatient costs below the midpoint among participating hospitals.

•· Deliver the most reliable and effective care – Deliver every recommended evidence-based care measure for each patient.

•· Improve patient safety (year 2 measure) – Prevent incidents of harm in more than 20 categories, including healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) and birth injuries.

•· Increase satisfaction (year 2 measure) – Dramatically improve the patient care experience.


(SOURCES: AHA News Now,, December 3, 2008)