Healthcare News & Insights

Kentucky hospitals improve patient care, reduce costs

The majority of hospital executives are trying to figure out how their facilities can improve patient care while keeping costs down. In Kentucky, 100 hospitals have joined together to address these issues.

This alliance is called the Kentucky Hospital Engagement Network (K-HEN).

It was developed by the Kentucky Hospital Association in partnership with the Hospital Research and Education Trust (HRET) of the American Hospital Association. The goal of K-HEN is to engage Kentucky hospitals in quality improvement programs that’ll reduce patient harm by 40% and readmissions by 20% by 2013.

The goals K-HEN is working toward aren’t new. But the network will allow the hospitals to achieve their goals faster, because a large number of hospitals with similar issues are sharing data and learning from each other.

Project focus

The K-HEN project focuses on 10 areas:

  • adverse drug events
  • catheter-associated urinary tract infections
  • injuries from falls and immobility
  • obstetrical adverse events
  • pressure ulcers
  • surgical site infections
  • preventable readmissions
  • central line-associated blood stream infections
  • venous thromboemobilism, and
  • ventilator-associated pneumonia.

To help each other achieve the goals of the alliance, the hospitals are each focusing on different areas of patient care.

For example, Greenview Regional Hospital, in Bowling Green, KY,  is focusing on reducing patient ulcers and central line-associated blood stream infections. Altricia Harrel, director of quality and risk management at Greenview, said the people who work with these patients must earn credentials in these areas to show their competency.

Anne Leonard, Greenview’s chief nursing officer, makes sure the nurses are receiving continuing education and are always learning how to best help patients.

As a network, the hospitals share what’s working for them and how others in the network can adopt the same solutions.

In addition, the network provides intensive training programs to help hospitals make patient care safer, provides technical assistance so that hospitals can achieve quality measurement goals, and establishes and implements a system to track and monitor hospital progress in meeting quality improvement goals.

To learn more about the Hospital Engagement Network, click here.

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