- CMS announced Wednesday a request for proposals to develop a series of Hospital Improvement and Innovation Networks (HIINs) aimed at enhancing hospital patient safety and reducing hospital readmissions, in a blog post by Acting Principal Deputy Administrator and CMO Patrick Conway.
- The agency's goal with HIINs is to reduce overall patient harm by 20% and 30-day readmissions by 12% using a 2014 baseline.
- Part of the Quality Improvement Organization initiative, HIINs will further work begun by the Hospital Engagement Networks under the Partnership for Patients initiative.
Efforts in recent years to improve patient safety are already showing progress. A December 2015 report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found an “unprecedented” 39% drop in preventable adverse events, compared with 2010. The result was 2.1 million fewer patients harmed, 87,000 lives saved and roughly $20 billion saved over the four-year period.
“I have been working in the field of quality improvement for 20 years, and I have never before seen results such as these,” Conway wrote in the CMS Blog. He said the work is “far from done,” though, and efforts must be reinforced and sustained to address issues such as central line infections and hospital readmissions.
The HIINs will tap into the experience of hospital associations, health systems and others with experience in hospital quality improvement and share that information with hospitals, patients and providers to help spread proven evidence-based best practices.