Cara Welch, Colorado Hospital Association
(720) 330-6073

Colorado Hospitals Reduce Health Care Costs by $15 Million and Prevent 2,800 Patient Harms

Date Feb. 2, 2015
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COLO. (Feb. 2, 2015) — Colorado hospitals and health systems, participating in a three-year quality improvement project led by the Colorado Hospital Association (CHA), prevented 2,800 patient harms for an estimated cost savings of $14.8 million. The results are based on data collected from 32 acute care hospitals from January 2012 through June 2014.
The project is part of a nationwide initiative created by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) called the Partnerships for Patients (PfP). The campaign aimed to reduce patient harm by 40 percent and avoidable readmissions by 20 percent at U.S. hospitals by using Hospital Engagement Networks (HENs) to facilitate education, training and improvement activities in 11 core focus areas. CHA partnered with the American Hospital Association's Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET) to oversee the PfP campaign and HEN in Colorado.
The improvements made by Colorado hospitals participating in CHA’s HEN means patients treated in those facilities are less likely to develop an infection from surgery, be injured in a fall, experience a medication error or have to return to the hospital for additional care within 30 days. CHA HEN hospitals prevented the following patient harms:

  • 1,250 readmissions
  • 447 adverse drug events
  • 176 early-elective deliveries
  • 25 post-operative pulmonary embolisms or deep vein thrombosis incidents
  • 14 central line-associated bloodstream infections
  • 15 catheter-associated urinary tract infections
  • 11 hospitals are currently maintaining a rate of zero ventilator-associated pneumonia incidents in their intensive care units
  • 67 surgical site infections
  • 3 pressure ulcers
  • 732 falls (79 with injury)
  • 71 obstetrical events
“The improvements made by CHA’s 36 participating hospitals will have a lasting impact on patient care.” says Nancy Griffith, RN, CHA director of quality improvement and patient safety. “Hospitals have enhanced their internal capacity to deliver high-quality care. This means they will be able to
sustain the results they achieved in the HEN and also build upon that knowledge to improve other aspects of clinical care.” 

Overall, CHA’s HEN achieved a 31 percent reduction in patient harm during the three-year period including an 11.2 percent reduction in avoidable readmissions. Nationwide, the PfP achieved a 17 percent reduction in patient harm, resulting in 50,000 fewer deaths and a savings of $12 billion.

About the Colorado Hospital Association
The Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) represents 100 member hospitals and health systems throughout Colorado. CHA partners with its members to work towards health reform and performance improvement, and provides advocacy and representation at the state and federal level. Colorado hospitals and health systems are committed to providing coverage and access to safe, high-quality and affordable health care. In addition, Colorado hospitals have a tremendous impact on the state’s economic stability and growth, contributing to nearly every community across the state with 72,000 employees statewide.