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Patient Safety and Quality

Why Employers Care

Improving the quality and safety of our health care system has been and continues to be a high priority for the Business Group and its members. One in three patients admitted into a hospital suffer a medical error or adverse event.1 Hospital-acquired infections impact nearly 2 million patients, contribute to 99,000 deaths, and cost $33 billion in wasted health care dollars each year.2 This substandard care then effects overall medical costs, productivity and employee well-being. Progress has been made, with reductions in the rates of health care-associated infections, and progress toward most targets where data are available.3

Partnership for Patients: New National Patient Safety Initiative
The Partnership for Patients: Better Care, Lower Costs initiative launched in 2011. The Partnership brings together leaders from major hospitals, employers, physicians, nurses, and patient advocates in a shared effort to make hospital care safer, more reliable, and less costly. The two goals of the Partnership for Patients are to:

  • Keep patients from getting injured or sick. By the end of 2013, preventable hospital-acquired conditions would decrease by 40% compared to 2010.
  • Help patients heal without complication. By the end of 2013, preventable complications during transition from one care setting to another would decrease so that all hospital readmissions would be reduced by 20% compared to 2010.

What Can Employers Do?

The National Business Group on Health developed a toolkit to help employers align with the initiative. The toolkit, "Taking Action on Patient Safety: Partnership for Patients Employer Toolkit" includes examples of payment model options, a strategic checklist to help employers determine how to get started, and communication tips and resources to help employees and family members choose the best hospital care.

Relevant Tools and Resources Include:

References (show references)

1 Classen DC et al. 'Global Trigger Tool' Shows That Adverse Events In Hospitals May Be Ten Times Greater Than Previously Measured. Health Affairs. April 2011 30 (4): 581-589. Accessed November 1, 2011.

2 Preventing Healthcare-Associated Infections: Initiating Promising Solutions and Expanding Proven Ones. Commentary by Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. June 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Rockville, MD. Accessed September 5, 2012.

3 Kahn KL, Battles JB. Taking National Action to Prevent and Eliminate Healthcare-Associated Infections. Medical Care. February 1, 2014. 52(2):1. Accessed February 14, 2014.

Page last updated: March 25, 2014

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