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About the Partnership

The Partnership for Patients is focused on making hospital care safer, more reliable, and less costly through the achievement of two goals:

  • Making Care Safer. Preventing hospital-acquired conditions.
  • Improving Care Transitions. Preventing complications during a transition from one care setting to another would be decreased so that all hospital readmissions would be reduced.

The preliminary evaluation report (PDF) and appendix (PDF) provides insights on progress towards achieving these goals, in addition to Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia H. Burwell press release in December 2014.

A December 2015 press release announced the release of an HHS report showing preliminary estimates that hospital-acquired conditions declined by 17 percent over a four-year period, building on previously reported results in 2014.

A December 2016 HHS press release announced the results of an HHS report showing that hospital-aquired conditions dropped 21 percent over a five year period, resulting in $28 billion in cost savings since 2010.

Patient Safety Areas of Focus

The HIINs will continue to evaluate the capacity of large improvement networks to bring about improvement in patient safety. In an effort to bring about improvement in patient safety, the HIINs will continue to evaluate the capacity of large improvement networks by focusing on the following required 11 core areas of harm:

  1. Adverse drug events (ADE), including at a minimum, opioid safety, anticoagulation safety, and glycemic management
  2. Central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI), in all hospital settings, not just Intensive Care Units (ICUs)
  3. Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), in all hospital settings, including avoiding placement of catheters, both in the ER, and in the hospitalCentral line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI), in all hospital settings, not just Intensive Care Units (ICUs)
  4. Clostridium difficile (C. diff) bacterial infection, including Antibiotic Stewardship
  5. Injuries from falls and immobility
  6. Pressure Ulcers
  7. Sepsis and Septic Shock
  8. Surgical Site Infections (SSI), to include measurement and improvement of SSI for multiple classes of surgeries
  9. Venous thromboembolism (VTE), including, at a minimum, all surgical settings
  10. Ventilator-Associated Events (VAE), to include Infection-related Ventilator-Associated Complication (IVAC) and Ventilator-Associated Condition (VAC)
  11. Readmissions

In addition to these core eleven topics, HIINs are expected to address all other forms of preventable patient harm in pursuit of safety across the board and additional areas in pursuit of the reduction of all-cause harm for Medicare beneficiaries.

Additionally, the following are some additional harm topics and measurement approaches HIINs may consider:

  • Multi-Drug Resistant Organisms (e.g. VRE, CRE, MRSA, etc.)
  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Addressing Malnutrition in the Inpatient Setting
  • Airway Safety
  • Iatrogenic Delirium
  • Undue Exposure to Radiation
  • Hospital Culture of Safety
  • Developing a metric to measure and report on all-cause harm within the HIIN network, directly reflecting the metric used to track progress on the national aims


Making Care Safer - Ten years after publication of the Institute of Medicine’s report To Err Is Human- Opens in a new window, researchers identified - Opens in a new window rates of medical harm —that is, injuries to patients associated with their care—in excess of 25 events per 100 admissions. A recent study by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) (PDF) - Opens in a new window found that 13% of hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries experience adverse events resulting in prolonged hospital stay, permanent harm, life-sustaining intervention, or death. Almost half of those events are considered preventable.

Improving Care Transitions to Reduce Readmissions - Care transitions refer to the movement of patients from one health care provider or setting to another. For people living with serious and complex illnesses, transitions in setting of care (from hospital to home or nursing home, for example) are prone to errors. For example, one in five patients discharged from the hospital to home experience an adverse event within three weeks of discharge, when an adverse event is defined as an injury resulting from medical management rather than the underlying disease. The most common adverse events are medication related; they often can be avoided or mitigated. The current rate for hospital readmissions among Medicare beneficiaries within 30 days of discharge, one indicator of the appropriateness of the transition process, is nearly 20%, contributing to lower patient satisfaction and rising health care costs.

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