Bassett Joins Partnership For Patient Safety
Three years ago, Bassett Medical Center began a new program to identify high risk patients and develop strategies to improve their transition to the home setting or nursing home care. It’s been even more successful than hoped, improving both patient care and reducing hospital readmissions at the same time. The initiative is exactly the kind of effort the New York State Partnership for Patients (NYSPFP) hopes to build on.
More than 170 hospitals across the state, including Bassett Healthcare Network hospitals: Bassett Medical Center, A.O. Fox Hospital, Cobleskill Regional Hospital, O’ Connor Hospital, Little Falls Hospital and Tri-Town Regional Hospital, are engaged in NYSPFP.
NYSPFP is a joint project of the Healthcare Association of New York State and Greater New York Hospital Association and part of a nationwide public-private collaboration sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to keep patients safe while in the hospital and help them patients heal without complication after being discharged.
“Partnership for Patients recognizes there are good existing quality improvement programs at hospitals across the state and will provide the resources necessary to help spread best practices,” notes Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Bertine McKenna, Ph.D. “For example, Bassett’s strategies for reducing hospital readmissions may be of great interest to other hospitals struggling with this issue.”
Bassett’s success reducing readmissions was recently featured in Leadership magazine, a publication of HFMA Learning Solutions, Inc., a subsidiary of the Healthcare Financial Management Association. Bassett reduced its 30-day readmission rate for high-risk patients from 13.4 percent in 2009 to just over three percent in 2010 by screening patients for things that might put them at high risk for readmission to the hospital such as poor health literacy, problem medications and lack of at home support. Based on that evaluation, interventions are developed including a follow-up phone call within 72 hours of discharge and a follow-up appointment with a physician within seven days of leaving the hospital. Contact with the patient after discharge allows staff to identify problems and intervene before things escalate into a medical complication.
Vice President of Performance Improvement Ronette Wiley explains, “Hospitals have tried valiantly to reduce readmissions and hospital acquired conditions on their own and with some success, as in Bassett’s case, but there is always opportunity to do better. NYSPFP will promote the sharing of best practices, additional training and the development of measures to track progress statewide.”
As the CMS Partnership for Patients Hospital Engagement Network for New York State, NYSPFP is responsible for providing participating hospitals with intensive technical assistance, training opportunities, educational programming, and establishing mechanisms to measure and evaluate hospital progress on key clinical and process measures. For more information about NYSPFP, visit www.nyspfp.org.