Healthcare improvement methodology helps ~350 hospitals avoid ~160,000 deaths and reduce mortality by 38%
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Premier, Inc.’s (NASDAQ: PINC) performance improvement methodology has helped hospitals in its QUEST® collaborative realize mortality rates as much as 10 percent lower than a national comparison of hospitals not participating in QUEST, according to a new study published in the Journal of Patient Safety.
The peer-reviewed analysis, which was conducted by Premier and published online ahead of print today, compared the mortality performance of hospital participants in Premier’s QUEST collaborative to hospitals not participating in QUEST from 2006-2011. The analysis included more than 600 U.S. hospitals.
Launched in 2008, QUEST consists of approximately 350 hospitals that volunteer to compare their data transparently, and share performance and expertise with one another. Collaborative participants also use Premier’s performance improvement methodology, including consistent measures for high-quality, cost-effective care delivery.
“With this research, we sought to pinpoint the improvements that were truly attributed to collaborative interventions while accounting for the larger trends in healthcare,” said lead-author of the study, Eugene Kroch, PhD, Premier vice president and chief scientist. “We isolated as many variables as possible, such as hospital characteristics, severity of patient illness and background, and secular trends. In doing so, we’ve demonstrated a ‘QUEST effect,’ which appears to be related to transparent peer-to-peer collaboration and data sharing coupled with a holistic framework to improve hospital outcomes.”
There is growing interest in the use of healthcare performance improvement programs, like QUEST, as a means to more rapidly achieve positive change. By transparently sharing data and expertise to improve the quality and cost of care, hospitals in QUEST have been testing and scaling new measures and improvement strategies, and setting performance standards.
QUEST interventions led participants to avoid approximately 160,000 inpatient hospital deaths in its first six years. Participants experienced the largest gains in reducing deaths from sepsis, which was the biggest driver of mortality at the beginning of the collaborative. To reduce inpatient deaths from sepsis, QUEST hospitals created and implemented focused interventions with direction from top performing participants. This included techniques for early detection in the emergency department, early measurement of serum lactate levels, prompt initiation of antibiotics after blood cultures and aggressive fluid necessitation. As a result, QUEST hospitals were able to reduce sepsis deaths by 22 percent. Similarly, they experienced a six percent reduction in mortality for each of the clinical conditions of stroke, heart failure and respiratory infections.
In addition to reducing mortality rates, QUEST’s collaborative approach to performance improvement has led to substantial reductions in costs, readmissions and harm. Participants have saved approximately $13.2 billion since 2008, and prevented approximately 55,800 readmissions since 2011 and approximately 21,700 instances of harm, such as hospital-acquired infections, since 2010.
“QUEST has helped us create consistency in how high-quality, cost-effective healthcare is defined, and provided us with standard ways to evaluate performance,” said Stephen A. Knych, MD, vice president/chief quality and patient safety officer for Adventist Health System, one of the largest hospital systems participating in QUEST. “We monitor and measure the performance of our hospitals compared with each other as well as with hospitals across the nation to ensure we are making progress over the long term. It’s an effective formula for helping us to provide an efficient, consistent, and caring experience for every patient and family.”
QUEST hospitals reside in almost every state of the country, including Hawaii. Members are large and small, teaching and non-teaching, urban and rural, and high and low disproportionate share hospitals. All measures used in QUEST are publicly available and can be leveraged by any hospital to set quality improvement goals based on aggressive standards of high-quality, cost-effective care.
For more information on how QUEST hospitals reduced mortality, as well as real-world experiences from Adventist Health System, Premier is hosting a free webinar on February 18 from 3-4 p.m. ET.