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N.J. Hospital Quality Effort Averts 9,206 Adverse Events and $100 Million in Costs in 2013

May 13, 2014
by John DeGaspari
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Up to $125 million in added costs averted, according to a report

New Jersey hospitals participating in a nationwide quality and patient safety program have averted 9,206 adverse events for patients and more than $100 million in added healthcare costs in 2013, according to data from the Partnership for Patients-New Jersey initiative.

The results are attributable to reduced rates in 13 hospital-acquired conditions. New Jersey hospitals posted a 32.2 percent average reduction in these conditions in 2013. New Jersey hospitals also achieved an 8.7 percent decrease in the rate of patients readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of a prior hospital stay.

By comparing those new rates against the industry's standard expected rates, this work has averted a case of medical harm for 9,206 New Jersey patients in 2013. Those averted complications saved the healthcare system between $102 million and $125 million in added costs, according to cost data from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Partnership for Patients-New Jersey is led by the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA), one of 27 “hospital engagement networks” selected by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2012. Based on the success of the Partnership for Patients' first two years, CMS extended NJHA's hospital engagement network contract through 2014.

Data collection is a key part of the quality improvement process. All hospitals routinely share their data with NJHA and CMS, along with an independent evaluator, so their performance can be benchmarked against other facilities.

NJHA's 63 participating hospitals achieved the following results between 2012 and 2013:

  • Adverse drug events declined from 9.8 percent to 4.0 percent, a reduction of 58.7 percent.
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infections declined from a rate of 1.61 per thousand catheter days to 1.11, a reduction of 30.9 percent.
  • Central line-associated bloodstream infections declined from a rate of 1.39 infections per 1,000 central line days to 1.10, a reduction of 20.3 percent.
  • Patient falls declined from 0.59 per 1,000 patients to 0.49, a reduction of 18.1 percent.
  • Early elective deliveries declined from 4.9 percent to 3.0 percent, a reduction of 38.7 percent.
  • Birth trauma injuries declined from a rate of 2.3 per 1,000 live births to 1.61, a 30.3 percent reduction.
  • Obstetric trauma declined from a rate of 143 per 1,000 to 128.4 per 1,000 (with a medical instrument) and from 24.2 per 1,000 to 20.6 percent (without instrument.) The rate reduction is 10.3 percent and 14.9 percent, respectively.
  • Pressure ulcers declined from 3.8 percent to 2.4 percent, a reduction of 37.1 percent.
  • Surgical site infections following colon surgery declined from 4.39 percent to 2.82 percent, a reduction of 35.8 percent.
  • Surgical site infections following hysterectomy declined from 1.48 percent to 1.04 percent, a reduction of 29.9 percent.
  • Surgical site infections following total knee replacement declined from 1.03 percent to 0.17 percent, a reduction of 83.8 percent.
  • Venous thromboembolism (blood clots) declined from 0.75 percent to 0.67 percent, a reduction of 10.1 percent.
  • Hospital readmissions within 30 days declined from 21.6 percent to 19.8 percent, an 8.7 percent reduction.




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