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Format: 04/16/2014
Format: 04/16/2014


West Penn Allegheny Health System Joins Federal Patient Safety Project

Monday, June 18th, 2012

West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS) officials announced today that the System’s five member hospitals have joined the Pennsylvania Hospital Engagement Network, a new two-year patient-safety initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). 
The Pennsylvania Hospital Engagement Network, one of only 26 such networks in the nation, is a component of the HHS Partnership for Patients initiative, and unites more than 130 hospitals throughout the state with The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP), the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, The Health Care Improvement Foundation, Quality Insights of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Health Care Quality Alliance in an effort to implement strategies to achieve goals of reducing preventable hospital-acquired conditions, readmissions, and complications during hospitalization.
Targeted concerns of the Network will include prevention of wrong-site surgery, adverse drug events, falls, venous thromboembolism, obstetrical adverse events, readmissions, surgical-site infection, pressure ulcers, central line-associated bloodstream infections, and ventilator-associated pneumonia.
WPAHS plans to integrate the Network’s efforts into its own ongoing safety and quality initiatives. Forbes Hospital serves as a site for Network conferences and recently hosted an obstetrical adverse event meeting for Network participants at which WPAHS physicians gave key presentations. A similar conference is being planned at Forbes for wrong-site surgery.
“We are honored to join many of our esteemed colleagues around the commonwealth in an endeavor that promises to further enhance the quality of healthcare in our region,” said Robert Keenan, MD, Vice President and Chief Quality Officer for Allegheny General Hospital and West Penn Hospital. “By participating in The Hospital Engagement Network West Penn Allegheny will have the opportunity to share its well recognized best practices in patient care quality and safety while also learning from the experience and successes of our respected peer institutions across the state and around the country.”
West Penn Allegheny is a 2,000 bed academic health system comprised of Allegheny General Hospital and West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh, Allegheny Valley Hospital in Natrona Heights, Canonsburg Hospital in Canonsburg, PA and Forbes Hospital in Monroeville PA. Combined the hospitals annually admit more than 80,000 patients, log more than 173,000 emergency visits and deliver nearly 4,000 newborns. The hospitals are among the leaders in percentages of total surgeries, cardiac surgeries, neurosurgeries and cardiac catheterization procedures performed throughout the western Pennsylvania region.
For three consecutive years, West Penn Allegheny has been recognized by Thomson Reuters as one of the nation’s top performing health care providers based on patient care quality and efficiency. West Penn Allegheny is the only healthcare provider in western Pennsylvania and one of just five in the state to earn this distinction, which is based on objective Medicare outcomes data measuring clinical care quality and patient satisfaction. Among the Thomson Reuter report’s conclusions, top performing healthcare systems in 2012 had a 15% lower patient mortality, 16% fewer complications and 22% fewer patient safety incidents than systems in the bottom quintile of the study. 
“Pennsylvania’s hospitals have been leaders in health care quality and patient safety initiatives for decades,” said Carolyn F. Scanlan, president and CEO of The Hospital & Healthsytem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP), the lead contractor for the Pennsylvania Hospital Engagement Network. “We also have been involved with many notable ‘firsts’ in Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania was the first state to create a patient safety organization, the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority; the first state to require the reporting of all health care-associated infections and to release the first hospital-specific infection report; and the first state to develop and implement a payment policy with the state’s Medicaid program that would reduce payments to hospitals when a covered patient experienced a preventable serious adverse event.”
Other initiatives spearheaded by HAP and Pennsylvania’s hospitals include the Pennsylvania Pressure Ulcer Partnership; the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s 100,000 Lives and 5 Million Lives campaigns; and the Comprehensive Unit-Based Safety Program.
“Pennsylvania’s hospitals are about healing, health, and hope,” Scanlan said. “We are excited by this opportunity to build on our successes and engage Pennsylvania’s hospitals in this new initiative to further improve the care provided to the millions of patients who come through our doors each year.
For more information, contact:
West Penn Allegheny Health System
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