Tennessee Hospital Association Recognized For Leadership In Quality Improvement

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Tennessee Hospital Association (THA) was awarded the highest patient safety and quality recognition by the American Hospital Association (AHA) at a national conference in San Diego this week for its work in reducing patient harm.The Dick Davidson Quality Milestone Award for Allied Association Leadership is presented annually to state, regional or metropolitan hospital associations that demonstrate leadership and innovation in quality improvement and contribute to national health care improvement efforts.

The award was given to THA for, among other things, its innovative approach to patient safety and quality by partnering hospitals, BlueCross®BlueShield® of Tennessee Health Foundation and the Tennessee chapter of the American College of Surgeons, and reductions in surgical complications by 36 percent, saving an estimated 516 lives and over $5 million in costs. The award also recognized the association’s work with the Tennessee Department of Health and Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Care (TIPQC), which has reduced early elective deliveries by 64 percent through the “Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait” campaign.THA, recognizing the changing healthcare landscape, identified three major areas of focus for the association; quality and safety, physician alignment and efficiency. 

The commitment to patient safety and quality led to the launch of the Tennessee Center for Patient Safety (TCPS) in 2007, with 126 hospitals actively participating representing more than 90 percent of all hospital admissions.“Tennessee hospitals are working hard to improve patient safety and quality and have made great strides in these areas,” said Craig A. Becker, THA president.“The Tennessee Center for Patient Safety will continue to work with hospitals and physicians to develop and define best practices that reduce patient harm and expand performance improvement.”The association serves as a convener, facilitator and collaborator of stakeholders aligning priorities and goals that advance Tennessee’s hospitals’adoption of proven strategies that enhance the reliability, safety and quality of care received by patients. 

TCPS has several successful initiatives that include,but are not limited to, a strategic board aim of zero preventable harm, reducing healthcare- associated infections, decreasing early elective deliveries (EEDs)before 39 weeks and the Tennessee Surgical Quality Collaborative (TSQC) to improve surgical outcomes.The EED project launched in Tennessee is part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Partnership for Patients program. The initial program was so successful the THA board endorsed expanding the project to all hospitals in Tennessee with obstetrical services. Key successes include:

• The EED has seen significant reductions, with the rate of EEDs decreasing 64 percent from May 2012 to March 2013.

• A public awareness campaign with the March of Dimes and other partners used ads and social media to educate expectant parents that“Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait.”Tennessee hospitals also have shown significant declines in healthcare associated infections, including:

• A reduction in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI)of 66 percent among 140 adult/pediatric intensive care units.

• A 66 percent reduction in CLABSI in neonatal intensive care units.

• A 76 percent reduction in ventilator-associated pneumonias.

TSQC, a 22-hospital surgical quality collaborative, was formed with the Tennessee Chapter of the American College of Surgeons to share surgical process and outcomes data to improve surgical care for patients utilizing the American College of Surgeons’ national surgical quality improvement program(NSQIP). TSQC was the first NSQIP state initiative coordinated by a state hospital association and has proven very successful in aligning surgeons andhospitals to work collaboratively to improve surgical care.Successes include:

• Statistically significant decline in 30-day post-operative mortality of 47percent since 2008.

• 36% decline in total post-operative complications, resulting inprevention of over 4400 complications since the program began.

• Estimated 516 lives saved and over $5 million in costs avoided.

“Tennessee is fortunate to have tremendous partnerships among various professional groups and organizations to align our efforts and work together on quality improvement programs,” Becker noted. “THA is grateful for the tremendous commitment and dedication of the hospital frontline staff who work tirelessly each day to serve their patients and communities and whose work is represented through this recognition.”

The award is named for AHA President Emeritus Dick Davidson, who strongly promoted the role of hospital associations in leading quality improvement during his tenure as AHA president and as president of the Maryland Hospital Association. Applications are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary award committee, with the AHA board of trustees providing final approval. The committee includes hospital association executives, hospital and health system clinical and operational leaders and a representative from a national, non-AHA organization involved in quality and performance improvement. Information on the award and how to apply is available on AHA's website.About THATHA, founded in 1938, serves as an advocate for hospitals, health systems, home health agencies and other healthcare organizations and the patients they serve. The association offers products and services through THA Solutions Group, Inc. and the Tennessee Hospital Education and Research Foundation,Inc., its nonprofit education program.


Heroin, Buprenorphine Drug Busts On The Rise In Tennessee

Tennessee’s nearly half-decade long effort, dedicated to limiting easy access to prescription pain medications and similar opioid-based narcotics, has been successful, officials said. Since 2012 the state has seen a steady decline in the use and abuse of these substances commonly prescribed by family physicians. 2015 drug seizure data from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation shows ... (click for more)

The Lantern At Morning Pointe Presents Alzheimer’s Seminar "Dementia Talk: How To Talk To A Loved One"

Join The Lantern at Morning Pointe Alzheimer's Center of Excellence in Chattanooga as they present Dementia Talk: How to Talk to a Loved One featuring Carla Guthrie, Morning Pointe Lantern Program Specialist and Best Friends master trainer.   Ms. Guthrie will cover the following topics in her informative seminar:   - How do I engage a friend or loved one who has ... (click for more)

County School Board Considers "Best Practices Audit" On Compliance With Board Policies

The County School Board is considering carrying out a "Best Practices Audit" to determine if board policies are filtering down to the school level. Board member Greg Martin said members of the Superintendent's Student Leadership Council told him that only a fraction of students are familiar with board policies on bullying and other topics. Steve Highlander, another board member, ... (click for more)

Several Central City Schools Overcrowded, School Board Is Told

All the county school overcrowding is not out in the fast-growing East Brainerd and Ooltewah sections, school board members were told Thursday. Several central city schools are far above capacity. East Lake Elementary - with 655 students and a capacity of 493 students - is at 133 percent occupancy. Calvin Donaldson, Orchard Knob Elementary and East Side Elementary also are ... (click for more)

Innocent Until Proven Guilty, Even Athletes

From reading Randy Smith's column on the lawsuit against UT it is pretty evident that he never took a legal course in his life. I was under the impression that in this country one was innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. It appears this no longer applies to athletes(particularly black athletes) in the U.S. in 2016. I have always said that if I am picked for jury duty ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Chatt2.org’ Needs You Now

A diverse yet powerful panel of community leaders in Nashville delivered a letter to the Metro Nashville Board of Education last week. It was signed by some top men and women who represent a wide-ranking cross section of the Tennessee’s largest city and includes education, business, religious and diversity superstars. You need to understand the urgency behind the letter. Davidson ... (click for more)