A concerted effort by more than 1,500 hospitals to reduce harm across 11 areas resulted in the prevention of 34,000 harms, according to results from the American Hospital Association/Health Research & Educational Trust Hospital Engagement Network 2.0.

This second round of the AHA/HRET HEN, which was a one-year project backed by Partnership for Patients, reduced early elective deliveries by 44 percent, post-operative incidents of Venous Thromboembolism by 34 percent; and surgical site infections by 21 percent.

The project also produced cost savings of $288 million, including $124 million in prevented readmissions, $78 million in prevented adverse drug events and $19 million in prevented pressure ulcers.

“Improving care is a never-ending march toward perfection, and no number of accolades will slow that march,” said Rick Pollack, AHA president and CEO, in a news release. “Patients have high expectations about the care hospitals provide, and getting to zero patient safety incidents is the goal of every hospital. Continued progress will be made as hospitals share what they learned through the HEN project with the rest of the field,” Pollack said.

The AHA/HRET HEN 2.0 relied on five core strategies to assist hospitals with reducing harm:

  1. Disseminating the latest evidence, tools and best practices to the field
  2. Offering coaching and technical assistance
  3. Faciliating peer-to-peer sharing
  4. Building increased capability and capacity in quality improvement
  5. Deploy cross-cutting strategies

The overall goal of the Health & Human Services-sponsored Partnership for Patients program was to reduce hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and readmissions by 20 percent. The results for this round were similar to those for the first iteration of the AHA/HRET HEN, a three year project that ended in November 2014.