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Astria Regional Medical Center Recognized for Patient Safety

SEATTLE — Astria Regional Medical Center Medical & Cardiac Center has sustained a low rate of pressure ulcers, surgical site infection preventions, ventilator acquired pneumonia prevention, and VTE (clot) prevention, which has made patients safer and reduced the cost of care. This improvement was recognized in a quarterly progress report from the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) as part of Astria Regional Medical Center work in the Partnership for Patients initiative.

“Partnership for Patients is a national effort to help hospitals work together to improve quality,” said Veronica Knudson, CEO. “We are excited to see that our work is paying off and that we are making noticeable improvements. This is going to be an ongoing effort and while the numbers may vary from quarter to quarter, we believe we are on a path of continuous improvement.”

The Partnership for Patients is a nationwide collaborative effort, funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, to reduce the number of hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and hospital readmissions by 20 percent by the end of 2014. Astria Regional Medical Center is one of 97 WSHA hospitals participating in the Partnership for Patients initiative.

Astria Regional Medical Center achieved a 40% reduction or was in the top quartile of WSHA Partnership for Patient Hospitals for the following areas of improvement:

  • Low rate of pressure ulcers
  • Low rate of surgical site infection
  • Low rate ventilator acquired pneumonia
  • VTE (clot) prevention

To celebrate their successes in improving patient care, WSHA has sent each hospital a banner for public display.

Background on Partnership for Patients

“The Partnership for Patients contract has enabled us to make impressive improvements in patient safety in all the participating hospitals,” said WSHA Senior Vice President for Patient Safety Carol Wagner. “We have been able to provide extensive education, best-practice implementation, and rapid response to problems. The hospitals doing this work are helping to test and model the best ways to keep patients safe in the hospital. It benefits their patients, but it also benefits all patients.”

The initiative focuses on reducing harm in 10 key areas. Data about these areas are gathered from the hospitals and evaluated on an ongoing basis by WSHA staff. Hospitals who are successful in making improvements share their experiences; hospitals that are having trouble can get access to national experts to help them identify and solve problems. Reports about each hospital’s goals are sent quarterly so that trends and best practices can be quickly acted upon. The areas of focus are:

1.     Adverse drug events

2.     Catheter-associated urinary tract infections

3.     Central line-associated blood stream infections

4.     Injuries from falls and immobility

5.     Obstetrical adverse events

6.     Pressure ulcers

7.     Surgical site infections

8.     Venous thromboembolism

9.     Ventilator-associated pneumonia

10.  Preventable readmissions

Collectively, the Washington State Hospital Association Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) has accomplished:

  • 87% reduction in early elective deliveries resulting in over 2,000 babies allowed to mature, saving $5 million
  • 84% reduction in ventilator-associated pneumonia from baseline – resulting in two fewer patients experiencing ventilator-associated pneumonia a week, saving $3.5 million
  • 57% reduction in stage II, III and IV (or unstageable) pressure ulcersresulting in one fewer patient experiencing a pressure ulcer a week, saving $3.5 million

The Partnership for Patients initiative is being lead locally by the Washington State Hospital Association and nationally by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. WSHA was one of 26 health care organizations in the U.S. to be awarded a HEN contract by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2011. 

As a Partnership for Patients HEN, WSHA and the Washington State Medical Association have partnered to support hospitals and medical practices in Washington, Alaska and Oregon in their efforts to reduce patient harm. By joining this initiative, hospitals and health care providers across the nation pledged to make health care safer, more reliable and less costly – ultimately saving thousands of lives and millions of dollars. WSHA provides member hospitals with trainings, data, tools and other resources to help them reach these patient safety goals.

More information on the WSHA Partnership for Patients can be found at