The Year 1 results from Premier Inc.’s QUEST quality-improvement program show that the 157 participating hospitals saved an estimated 8,043 lives and $577 million, according to Premier. In addition, of the approximately 2.3 million patients treated annually in these hospitals, 24,818 additional patients received treatments that met the highest-quality patient care standards when compared to baseline performance at the outset of the project, says Premier. (For more on QUEST, see March/April 2009 Journal of Healthcare Contracting.).
According to a Premier analysis of Year 1 results, if non-participating hospitals were able to match the improvements found among the QUEST participants, they could save an estimated 52,760 lives and $1.16 billion in costs. Further, 27,771 more patients could receive all recommended care.
Results of a product-related component of QUEST – the Comparative Innovation Program (CIP) – had not been evaluated at press time. CIP was designed to test the effectiveness of products and technologies from six vendors:
- The Bardex I.C. Foley Catheter, Bard Medical Division, said to reduce catheter-associated urinary tract infections.
- BD GeneOhmTM MRSA Assay, Becton Dickinson, designed to rapidly identify MRSA-colonized patients.
- Hi-Lo Evac® Endotrachael Tube, Covidien Mallinckrodt, said to reduce ventilator-associated pneumonia.
- SpectraTM MRSA, Remel, designed to detect nasal colonization of MRSA.
- Toothette® Q-Care Oral Cleansing and Suction Systems, Sage Products, said to reduce ventilator-associated pneumonia.
- Vocera Communications Solution, Vocera Communications, designed to reduce emergency response times and improve doctor-nurse communication.
QUEST is a voluntary, three-year project made up of 157 participants across 31 states. Developed by Premier and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, it is designed to help hospitals improve their performance and share their results with others. QUEST benchmarked participating facilities using data from Premier’s clinical database to determine the “baseline” level of performance in cost, mortality and evidence-based care delivery. Participating hospitals then took steps to overcome the main factors that lead to deaths, errors and excessive costs, and measure themselves against one another. The goals of the program in Year 1 were:
- Eliminate avoidable hospital mortalities.
- Reduce the costs for each patient’s hospitalization.
- Ensure that patients receive every recommended evidence-based care measure.
In Years 2 and 3, the program will add these two goals:
- Prevent incidents of harm in more than 30 categories, including healthcare-acquired infections and birth injuries.
- Improve the patient’s overall care experience and loyalty to the care-providing facility.
Premier recently added 30 hospitals to the QUEST project.