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Aurora Health Care Hospitals Achieve Top Performance in Nationwide Quality and Safety Initiative

Thursday, October 22, 2009 General News J E 4
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MILWAUKEE, Oct. 21 Five Aurora Health Care hospitals are among the top performers in a national quality and safety initiative that provides new evidence of the power of quality improvement efforts to both save lives and reduce costs.

(Logo; http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090303/CG78204LOGO-b)

The initiative, QUEST: High-Performing Hospitals, is intended to act as a springboard for hospitals to reach new levels of performance and public reporting while informing the public policy debate over the future of health care.

The initiative's first-year results, announced today, showed that the 157 not-for-profit hospitals participating in QUEST saved an estimated 8,043 lives and $577 million in costs.

QUEST was created by Premier Inc. in partnership with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Premier is an alliance of 2,200 not-for-profit U.S. hospitals. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement, led by Don Berwick, M.D., champions health care improvement efforts throughout the world.

The 157 hospitals that volunteered to participate in QUEST span 31 states and include both urban and rural hospitals, large institutions and small ones, and teaching hospitals as well as non-teaching facilities.

QUEST benchmarked participating facilities using data from Premier's clinical database to determine the "baseline" level of performance in terms of cost, mortality and evidence-based care delivery. The hospitals were then challenged to overcome the main factors that lead to deaths, errors and excessive costs, and measure their progress against one another.

The five Aurora hospitals among the top 32 QUEST performers are:

The Aurora hospitals received awards for top performance in the following areas:

"QUEST is showing that national information sharing, coupled with local innovation, is the key to transforming health care," said Bruce Van Cleave, M.D., Aurora's senior vice president and chief medical officer. "By demonstrating real results achieved in real settings, QUEST is creating a blueprint for the future. This is true health care reform."

"QUEST makes sense for Aurora because of our integrated approach to care. The emphasis and objectives of QUEST helps to strengthen our model of care and enhance the experience of our patients."

The Aurora hospitals' achievements through QUEST follow the release this past summer of year 4 results in the federal government's Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration project, in which Aurora was the top performing health system in the country for the second consecutive year.

The first-year results for QUEST showed that the cost of care at the participating hospitals was reduced by an average of $343 per patient. In addition, the number of patients who received care that is regarded as best practice increased by 8.74 percentage points, and the hospitals achieved a 14 percent reduction in mortality when compared with what was expected based on the baseline data.

"These remarkable results highlight what can be achieved when hospitals set high goals and focus on continuous improvement," said Susan DeVore, Premier's president and chief executive officer. "QUEST hospitals are outpacing the performance of others, proving that when hospitals work together in a collaborative forum, they bring the depth of their shared knowledge to the table. Such collaboration helps participants to reliably deliver the most efficient, effective and caring hospital experience for each and every patient, every single time."

QUEST is intended to run for three years. In years two and three of the initiative, these additional performance metrics will be tracked:

QUEST is benefiting from an Advisory Panel of experts from 20 of the country's top health care organizations, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the National Quality Forum and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

About Premier, the 2006 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient

The Premier healthcare alliance is more than 2,200 U.S. hospitals and 63,000-plus other health care sites working together to improve health care quality and affordability. Owned by not-for-profit hospitals, Premier maintains the nation's most comprehensive repository of clinical, financial and outcomes information and operates a leading health care purchasing network. A world leader in helping deliver measurable improvements in care, Premier works with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the United Kingdom's National Health Service North West to improve hospital performance. Premier has offices in San Diego, Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia and Washington.

About Aurora

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

-- Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center -- Aurora St. Luke's South Shore -- Aurora Medical Center in Kenosha -- Aurora Medical Center in Oshkosh -- Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center

SOURCE Aurora Health Care
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