Michigan Hospitals Support Comprehensive Initiative to Prevent Medical Errors and Improve Patient Safety

Friday, June 27, 2008 General News
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LANSING, Mich., June 26 Already recognized as nationalleaders in improving patient safety, Michigan hospitals today announced acomprehensive new initiative that will combine extensive patient safety datacollection and analysis, best practices in delivering care and a new billingpolicy for a set of serious adverse health care events.

Through the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA), the state'shospitals and health systems:

-- Have established a new Patient Safety Organization (PSO) that willcollect and analyze data about medical errors and near misses in Michiganhospitals. Data collected will aid health care providers in betterunderstanding why some errors occur.

-- Will, based on the PSO analysis and input from experts, develop andimplement best practices at the bedside to prevent errors before they happento ensure the best patient outcomes possible.

-- Will not seek payment from patients, government health care programs,nor from private health insurance plans when certain "serious adverse events(SAEs)" occur. An SAE is defined as a serious condition that results frommedical errors or improper care that can reasonably be expected to be averted.

Despite the best efforts of health care providers, errors sometimes occurwhile caring for patients. Michigan hospitals are committed to providing thebest possible care and implementing science-based treatment and operationalimprovements to prevent errors.

"Every day, caregivers in hospitals work to provide the best care possibleto patients through the use of sophisticated error prevention systems,information technology and care protocols. Unfortunately, human error can, anddoes, occur," said MHA President Spencer Johnson. "Michigan hospitals supportnonpayment policies when circumstances warrant. But the best policy forMichigan patients, payers and providers is to be more aggressive in preventingerrors, and proudly that's exactly what our members are voluntarily electingto do."

Doug Deck, President & CEO of Munson Healthcare in Traverse City, led theMHA task force that developed the association's SAE initiative.

"Michigan hospitals once again are taking extraordinary actions toidentify and enact health care quality improvement protocols that will preventthe occurrence of SAEs and improve patient safety," Deck said. "Withoutquestion, Michigan hospitals are leading the nation in implementing voluntaryand comprehensive measures to make health care safer."

MHA's Keystone Center for Patient Safety & Quality, founded in 2003, hasbeen recognized by medical peer review journals, media and others as anational leader in improving health care safety and quality. The MHA KeystoneCenter provides evidence-based, best-practice interventions aimed at makingcare safer, improving the quality of care, enhancing the culture of safety,improving staff satisfaction, and eliminating unnecessary or avoidable costs.In just one MHA Keystone collaborative - MHA Keystone: ICU - more than 1,700lives and more than $246 million in health care costs have been saved inMichigan alone.

The MHA's Patient Safety Organization will expand the scope of Keystone byinitially focusing on a select set of SAEs identified by the National QualityForum and near misses. The MHA's approach also includes the activeparticipation of Michigan physicians and health plans, key allies inpreventing errors and improving patient safety and health care quality.

Michigan hospitals have agreed not to seek payment for seven initial SAEsthat are determined to be preventable. Johnson noted that these SAEs are "veryrare" in Michigan hospitals and, in fact, the vast majority of Michiganhospitals already do not seek payment for these SAEs:

In addition, MHA member hospitals have agreed not to seek payment for thefollowing adverse health care events:

The MHA's new SAE billing po

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