The Children's Hospitals' Solutions for Patient Safety is evidence that collaboration, not competition, is the name of the game when it comes to improving patient safety. Known as the SPS National Children’s Network, this coalition of more than 80 children’s hospitals throughout the United States shares a common vision: that no child will ever experience serious harm while they are undergoing treatment. Hospitals in this network are committed to sharing data and resources that will enable them to identify best practices and deliver safer, more cost-effective care that will improve patient outcomes.
Today a national network, the alliance evolved from a core group of children’s hospitals in Ohio focused on reducing surgical site infections (SSIs) and adverse drug events (ADEs). Through collaborative strategies, these institutions were able to reduce SSIs by 60% in high-risk children and ADEs by 50% across all 8 hospitals. This success led to a national effort to implement the strategies in children’s hospitals across the country.
Such collaboration has paid off. Over the past 3 years, the 8 original children’s hospitals in Ohio have prevented serious harm in nearly 230 patients and eliminated nearly $6 million from the healthcare system in Ohio alone by joining forces to improve statewide patient safety. Nationwide, the SPS National Children’s Network patient-safety initiative saved 2500 children from harm and led to savings of more than $60 million.
By incorporating quality improvement methods, sharing effective strategies and approaches, and continually measuring performance, the SPS National Children’s Network has been able to reduce patient harm. In 2015, the network aims to achieve the following goals:
- 40% reduction in hospital-acquired conditions
- 10% reduction in readmissions
- 25% reduction in serious safety events
We can learn from the successes of the SPS National Children’s Network. With the implementation of the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program (HACRP) by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), hospitals are looking for ways to avoid financial penalties amounting to a 1% reduction in payments normally received under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System. Collaboration is a good place to start. When it comes to improving patient outcomes, providers need to do move beyond a culture of competition and focus on learning from each other.