NJHA Affiliate Wins $7 Million Federal Contract to Launch Statewide Health Improvement Effort
PRINCETON, N.J., Dec. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey, a nonprofit affiliate of the New Jersey Hospital Association, has been awarded a hospital engagement contract with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to bring the Partnership for Patients initiative to New Jersey hospitals.
The Partnership for Patients (PfP) is a national initiative from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to improve the quality, safety and affordability of healthcare in the United States. After a nationwide call to healthcare improvement organizations, NJHA’s proposal was among those to win CMS’ approval.
Under the contract, NJHA will engage hospitals statewide in quality improvement strategies in several key areas. The two-year contract is valued at about $7 million, with the possibility of a third-year extension.
“This is a tremendous boost for New Jersey’s hospitals and the patients who depend on us for quality and affordable healthcare,” said NJHA President and CEO Betsy Ryan. “It will provide resources, support and a solid statewide framework to tackle some of the obstacles in our healthcare system that make it difficult to provide the best care in the most efficient, affordable way.”
NJHA’s winning proposal is built on the premise that improving organizational and system efficiency is a necessary foundation to any quality improvement success. NJHA will work with the Institute for Healthcare Optimization to provide “flow management” methodologies designed to reduce healthcare professionals’ stress and shortages, improve hospital operational efficiency, improve healthcare quality and reduce costs. NJHA will use a collaborative model to create an interactive group of hospitals and health systems that will take part in education, analysis, information and data exchanges. NJHA will develop a model to track hospitals’ process and outcomes data and measure their performance on improvement goals.
The collaborative model and improvement strategies will be applied to all of the Partnership for Patients focus areas: adverse drug events, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central line-associated blood stream infections, injuries from falls, obstetrical adverse events, pressure ulcers, surgical site infections, venous thromboembolism, ventilator-associated pneumonia and preventable readmissions.
State officials congratulated NJHA on the contract and offered their ongoing support to NJHA’s quality improvement activities.
“The Department works closely with NJHA to promote high-quality healthcare in our state, and this funding provides the opportunity to improve quality efforts in New Jersey’s hospitals,” said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd. “This project will enhance patient care and follow-up and create safer hospital environments, which will ultimately result in more efficient use of resources, reduced readmissions and lower overall cost of care.”
NJHA’s effort will be spearheaded by Aline Holmes, RN, senior vice president of clinical affairs and director of the NJHA Institute for Quality and Patient Safety, and Firoozeh Vali, Ph.D., vice president of research.
“Since the landmark To Err is Human report was released in 1999, numerous studies have documented medical errors and quality of care concerns,” said Vali. “We as healthcare providers must do better – and we believe we can by applying new efficiency models coupled with standardized quality improvement strategies and deep data analysis.”
While much of the work will focus on hospitals’ internal operations, the ultimate goal is very patient-centered: “Better care, more satisfied patients and improved healthcare outcomes that lead to a healthier New Jersey,” said Holmes. “We can’t wait to get started.”
SOURCE New Jersey Hospital Association