We just don't know. It might be that some initiatives at one hospital were so successful, they masked other initiatives at that same hospital that actually had a negative impact. Like taking every drug in the medicine cabinet to get over a cold; one never knows which pill did the trick, if any. And some drugs might have exacerbated symptoms.
"The Joint Commission, professional societies like the American College of Surgeons, and our bloodstream infection work has been implemented all over the country," all [these groups] have projects to reduce readmissions and reduce adverse events and costs," and many are working in the same hospitals, Pronovost says.
Like I said, much of this effort is funded by taxpayers. In all, some $500 million in federal funds is funding organizations in 102 communities through meals, transportation and home health agencies to help hospitals improve care after discharge, and reduce mortality and readmissions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has programs to reduce hospital acquired infections such as C. diff and MRSA, and other projects are run from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Numerous private endowments such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation work with hospitals as well. And don't forget the Quality Improvement Organizations, which work under CMS contracts with hospitals around the country too. And there are many others.
Some 25 other HENs are working with state hospital associations and other networks across the country using different strategies as well. And some hospitals might work with multiple HENs.
Don Goldmann, MD, chief medical and scientific officer for the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, agrees that there are problems with some of these programs, but says a lot of good will come from them eventually.