CHA’s HEN Results Show Patient Safety Improvements in Colorado

By Katie Lewandowski, MPH, Project Director, Colorado Hospital Association

Colorado hospitals and health systems, participating in a three-year quality improvement project led by CHA, prevented 2,800 patient harms for an estimated cost savings of $14.8 million. The improvements, made by Colorado hospitals participating in CHA’s Hospital Engagement Network (HEN), mean patients treated in those facilities are less likely than they were before to develop an infection from surgery, be injured in a fall, experience a medication error or have to return to the hospital for additional care within 30 days. CHA HEN hospitals prevented the following patient harms:


*   1,250 readmissions

*   447 adverse drug events

*   176 early-elective deliveries

*   25 post-operative pulmonary embolisms or deep vein thrombosis incidents

*   14 central line-associated bloodstream infections

*   15 catheter-associated urinary tract infections

*   11 hospitals are currently maintaining a rate of zero ventilator-associated pneumonia incidents in their intensive care units

*   67 surgical site infections

*   3 pressure ulcers

*   732 falls (79 with injury)

*   71 obstetrical events

The results are based on data collected from 32 acute care hospitals from January 2012 through June 2014. Overall, CHA’s HEN achieved a 31 percent reduction in patient harm during the three-year period including an 11.2 percent reduction in avoidable readmissions. The project is part of a nationwide initiative created by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) called the Partnerships for Patients (PfP). The campaign aimed to reduce patient harm by 40 percent and avoidable readmissions by 20 percent at U.S. hospitals by using Hospital Engagement Networks (HENs) to facilitate education, training and improvement activities in 11 core focus areas. CHA partnered with the American Hospital Association’s Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET) to oversee the PfP campaign and HEN in Colorado. Click here to see the names of participating hospitals and to access the results as an infographic.