Hawaii's hospitals are seeing improvements in healthcare quality and patient safety through a statewide initiative with the Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) and Premier Inc. (NASDAQ: PINC). This includes a 20 percent improvement in patient safety (based on an index of 33 measures) and an 18 percent reduction in readmission rates across the 13 hospitals in HMSA's network.

HMSA, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, and Premier, a leading healthcare improvement company, partnered to support providers in Hawaii through the Advanced Hospital Care program in 2011. The program is the nation's first statewide collaboration between a health plan and hospitals to define and implement new standards of quality improvement. Over a four-year performance improvement period, one of the most prominent patient safety accomplishments has been a substantial reduction in the rate of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), specifically reductions of:
  • 70 percent in urinary tract infections.
  • 62 percent in MRSA infections.
  • 52 percent in central line infections.

"Together, Hawaii hospitals are making significant improvements across the spectrum of patient safety, quality, and patient experience by sharing and comparing clinical data, outcomes, and experiences with each other and with Premier member hospitals across the U.S.," said Mark M. Mugiishi, M.D., HMSA senior vice president and chief medical officer. "Our partnership with these hospitals and Premier allows us to focus on a common goal of sustainable, high-quality healthcare for the people of Hawaii."

In addition to patient safety and readmissions, Hawaii hospitals have also improved:
  • Hospice care attention to dying Medicare patients by 19 percent.
  • Adherence to evidence-based best practices by 14 percent.
  • Patient satisfaction by 6 percent.

"We use Premier data to identify opportunities that will enhance care for our community," said Laura Westphal, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care at Castle Medical Center in Kailua on Oahu. "We work with Premier and its alliance members to learn best practices and benchmark outcomes against top performers. This collaboration is part of our day-to-day work and commitment to streamlining high-quality care practices across our organization."

Advanced Hospital Care is among the few initiatives in the U.S. that uses national, as well as provider-designed and managed measures, to improve evidence-based care, safety, patient experience, readmissions, end-of life care, and mortality. The program uses concepts from national policies and initiatives such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program.

Hawaii hospitals in the program also work with hundreds of other hospitals across the U.S. as part of Premier's nationally recognized quality improvement collaborative, which is built on mutual trust, transparency, and a common framework for performance improvement.

"The accomplishments these hospitals have made and this unique partnership is a key piece in scaling innovation across our industry," said Merrie Wallace, BSN, MN, vice president of quality at Premier. "By seeking to exceed new performance levels, Hawaii hospitals are inspiring others to improve across all settings of care, benefitting patients and building the capabilities necessary for value-based payment models."

Through Advanced Hospital Care, HMSA provides funding for Hawaii hospitals to use Premier analytics and services, such as Premier's quality improvement services and analytics, to accelerate advances in care delivery. A significant percentage of payments for both inpatient and outpatient care for participating hospitals are determined by their performance on quality outcomes measured in the Advanced Hospital Care program.

About HMSA

Caring for the people of Hawaii is HMSA's promise and privilege. Working together with employers, partners, physicians and other healthcare providers, HMSA promotes well-being; develops reliable, affordable health plans; and supports members with clear, thoughtful guidance. HMSA is the most experienced health plan in the state, covering more than half of Hawaii's population. As a recognized leader, the organization embraces its responsibility to strengthen the health and well-being of its community. Headquartered in Honolulu with centers statewide to serve its members, HMSA is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. hmsa.com.

About Premier Inc.

Premier Inc. (NASDAQ: PINC) is a leading healthcare improvement company, uniting an alliance of approximately 3,750 U.S. hospitals and more than 130,000 other providers of care. With integrated data and analytics, collaboratives, supply chain solutions, and advisory and other services, Premier enables better care and outcomes at a lower cost. Premier, a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient, plays a critical role in the rapidly evolving healthcare industry, collaborating with members to co-develop long-term innovations that reinvent and improve the way care is delivered to patients nationwide. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Premier is passionate about transforming American healthcare. Please visit Premier's news and investor sites on premierinc.com.

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