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Hospital Engagement Networks Lauded for Lessening Hospital Harm, Costs

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, February 11, 2014

Hospitals participating in HENs have "decreased central line infections by more than 45%" in the last two years, says CMS. The largest coalition, operated by the American Hospital Association, says it has saved $201 million.


Rich Umbdenstock

Rich Umbdenstock
AHA President and CEO

The largest of 26 coalitions participating in Hospital Engagement Networks, a $218 million federally funded program, has prevented 69,000 patients from hospital-caused complications at 1,600 hospitals and saved the nation more than $201 million in its first two years compared to rates from the recent past.

That was the report from the HEN operated by the American Hospital Association. AHA president and CEO Rich Umbdenstock said operational and cultural changes have reduced "infections, pressure ulcers, and other key areas across the board… This is great news for patients and hospitals."

Patrick Conway, MD, chief medical officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said that overall, hospitals in the 26 HENs in the last two years have "decreased central line infections by more than 45%, decreased surgical site infections by more than 22%, and… early elective deliveries… by approximately 50%; these Hospital Engagement Networks are a major driver of that work."

Conway added that the statistics show that "these are hundreds of thousands of patients who don't experience harm, our families, friends, mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers" representing "millions of dollars of potential savings. So this major investment is paying dividends."

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