Hospitals Ahead of the Nation in Quality and Safety of Patient Care

07 Aug 2013
Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) Cleveland, led by Better Health Greater Cleveland, has completed participation in an 18-month national program to improve the quality and safety of patient care. The 10 area hospitals beat national and state average rates for 30-day heart failure readmissions, outperformed more than 65 percent of hospitals on ideal measures of heart failure care, and standardized collection of race, ethnicity, and preferred language (R/E/L) data to ensure equitable care for all patients.
From October 2010 to March 2012, the local hospitals were among 100 nationwide that participated in the AF4Q Hospital Quality Network virtual workplace, where they developed, shared, and implemented quality improvement tools, strategies, and lessons learned. All used common measures to gauge progress along the way.
“Measurement is the foundation of continuous improvement, and adoption of common measures helps us to identify successes–and the strategies behind them–so they can be shared,” said Randall D. Cebul, MD, project director of Better Health Greater Cleveland. “We are delighted these hospitals are measuring their progress on these important initiatives, which are costly for patients, health plans, and employers.”
“One incontrovertible success is implementation of uniform measurement of race, ethnicity, and language preference among the regional hospitals that participated in the Hospital Quality Network,” said Diane Solov, project director of Better Health Greater Cleveland. The 10 hospitals began the program at 0 percent of their patients being asked their preferred language and achieved a 98.5 percent screening rate at the end of the AF4Q HQN program. All had implemented processes for standardized collection of language information.
One participating hospital, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, demonstrated 99 percent improvement from 2010 to 2012 in screening for preferred language for health-related communications.