HHS Secretary Champions Patient Safety Initiative at Henry Ford Hospital


DETROIT – Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visited Henry Ford Hospital today to champion Partnership for Patients, a national initiative that aims to make health care safer, more efficient and less costly.


Sebelius toured the Center for Simulation, Education and Research to learn about key Henry Ford patient safety initiatives, and participated in a roundtable discussion with key health care officials from Henry Ford, Greater Detroit Area Health Council, Wayne County Medical Society and Hospice of Michigan.


The visit to Henry Ford marked the fourth in a series of stops Sebelius is making to U.S. hospitals that are models of patient safety excellence. Henry Ford, the flagship hospital for Henry Ford Health System, is among the more than 1,500 U.S. hospitals that have pledged their commitment to Partnership for Patients. These include Henry Ford’s four acute care community hospitals – Henry Ford Macomb Hospital-Clinton Township, Henry Ford Macomb Hospital-Warren Campus, Henry Ford West Bloomfield and Henry Ford Wyandotte.


“Henry Ford Health System has been a leader in patient safety and an invaluable partner in our Partnership for Patients” Sebelius says. “Already more than 3,000 hospitals, major employers, unions, health insurers, health provider organizations, and patient advocates have signed up to help us reduce preventable injuries and readmissions with the goal of saving 60,000 lives over the next three years and saving as much as $50 billion over the next 10 years for our health care system.”


Launched officially on April 12, Partnership for Patients intends to save more than 60,000 lives over the next three years by stopping millions of preventable injuries and complications in patient care. That could result in $35 billion in health care cost savings, including $10 billion alone for Medicare. For more information, visit http://www.healthcare.gov/center/programs/partnership


The HHS is investing up to $1 billion through the Affordable Care Act to help achieve two national goals:


• Reduce preventable hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent by 2013.

• Reduce hospital readmissions by 20 percent by 2013.


Partnership for Patients dovetails in many ways with Henry Ford’s No Harm Campaign, an initiative launched in 2007 to coalesce various harm-reduction interventions into one effort throughout the Henry Ford Health System, says CEO Nancy Schlichting.


“Our No Harm Campaign focuses on enhancing our culture of safety, improving communications among care teams, identifying causes of harm and redesigning care to eliminate them. The result has been a 25 percent reduction in harm events from 2008-2010,” Schlichting says. “Our next goal is to reduce harm events throughout our health system by 50 percent by 2013.”


“With the new tools offered through Partnership for Patients, I believe Henry Ford and other health providers can be aggressive with their quality and safety initiatives to further reduce medical mistakes,” she adds.


Highlights of Henry Ford’s No Harm Campaign from 2008-2010 include:


• 29 percent reduction in infection-related harm

• 50 percent reduction in catheter-related bloodstream infections

• 14 percent reduction in medication-related harm

• 26 percent reduction in falls-related harm

• 5.3 percent reduction in pressure ulcer-related harm