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Berwick: Quest Program Results 'A Breakthrough'

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 20, 2013

Tuesday's report comes at the 4.5 year mark and shows that Quest has:

  • Reduced the median cost per discharge by $1,110, largely from reduced supply costs by 29% and reduced labor costs by 26%. This translates to a total saving of $9.13 billion over four years "90% of the cost of the entire Medicare sequestration cut to hospitals."
  • Reduced central line bloodstream infections by 59% since 2007.
  • Reduced falls and pressure ulcers by 64% since 2007.
  • Reduced mediastinitis after coronary artery bypass graft surgery by 58% since 2007.
  • Reduced mortality by 36% compared to what was expected, given the case mix of the participating hospitals. This occurred largely because of strategies to reduce sepsis blood stream infections by 24% since 2007, and outpaces national averages. "Quest members experience mortality rates that are 10% lower than the national averages.
  • Delivered evidence based care measures to heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care patients "at least 95% of the time."

The report also mentions several case studies showing lives saved.

For example, Quest participant East Alabama Medical Center initiated a sepsis reduction project that improved care protocols and prompt interventions at the first signs of infection.

"When it works, it really has an impact," the report says. "EAMC estimates its rates have dropped 71%, saying 163 lives and more than $34 million over three years from avoided sepsis-related complications misdiagnoses and readmissions.

"If all hospitals in the U.S. could achieve the two-year results of the Quest participants, it would result in approximately 87,250 additional lives saved annually…more than the number of patients who die of Alzheimer's disease, influenza, diabetes, liver disease, hypertension or Parkinson's disease each year."

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