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Patient Safety First Initiative Wins Prestigious 2013 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety & Quality Award  

Patient Safety First … a California Partnership for Health, was awarded today the esteemed John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award by the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission . The award recognizes the partnership’s work in reducing early elective deliveries, hospital-acquired infections, and avoiding 3,576 deaths and more than $63 million in otherwise unnecessary hospital costs between 2009 and 2012.

“Collaborations are at the heart of any meaningful effort in making positive change in health care,” said WellPoint CEO Joseph Swedish. “This is why we are especially pleased and honored that the Patient Safety First Initiative has been recognized by arguably the most prestigious national safety and quality award. It validates all the progress that the partners continue to make working together to reduce hospital-acquired infections and early elective deliveries.”

PSF is a statewide collaborative among the Hospital Council of Northern & Central California, the Hospital Association of Southern California, the Hospital Association of San Diego & Imperial Counties, National Health Foundation and California hospitals and WellPoint’s California affiliated health plan.

The Eisenberg award recognizes major achievements for individuals and organizations in improving patient safety and health care quality. An award panel comprised of nationally recognized patient safety and health care quality experts identified by The Joint Commission and NQF will evaluate award submissions and identified award recipients.

The collaborative’s mission is to improve quality and reduce health care costs across the state. Since the inception of the collaborative in 2010, PSF member hospitals have shown significant improvement in four important hospital-based avoidable harm initiatives: sepsis mortality, ventilator associated pneumonia, central line blood stream infections and perinatal gestational age deliveries under 39 weeks. More specifically, approximately 40 hospitals consistently reported before and after data, and their results show:

  • 74 percent reduction in early elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks gestational age
  • 57 percent reduction in cases of ventilator associated pneumonia
  • 43 percent reduction in cases of central line blood stream Infections
  • 26 percent reduction in sepsis mortality

“As part of the greater health system and as medical professionals, our first responsibility is to help ensure safe, high quality health care for all Americans,” said WellPoint Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sam Nussbaum. “Patient Safety First’s collaborative learning model to prevent hospital-acquired infections and reduce early elective deliveries and greater risk for newborns helps us to deliver on that promise. This award is a testament to the program’s importance and accomplishment and many people in California benefited, including Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and members of other health plans.”

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