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Guidon Performance Solutions LLC

Quality Insider

150 Hospitals Show Improvement via Quality Network Initiative

Reduced readmission, better emergency care cited in AF4Q report

Published: Monday, August 20, 2012 - 10:44

(Guidon Performance Solutions: Phoenix) -- According to an article in the American Medical News journal, 150 hospitals in the United States have seen reduced readmission rates, improved emergency care, and better adherence to care standards due to involvement in the Hospital Quality Network. Hospitals that are part of the network participate in monthly conference calls to share best practices and strategies that have improved their hospital quality.

A report from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q), the organization responsible for starting the Hospital Quality Network in 2010, revealed several successes the hospitals in the network have seen, including:
• 60 percent of hospitals reduced their 30-day readmission rates for patients with heart failure and, in total, avoided close to 500 readmissions.
• Three-quarters of hospitals improved how frequently they provided guideline-based care to heart failure patients.
• Nearly 60-percent of hospitals cut “boarding time” (i.e., the time between a patient being admitted and moved to a room) in their emergency departments by an average of 30 minutes.


The report indicates that hospitals have seen the most improvement with emergency department boarding time. Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, set a boarding time goal of 35 minutes and initially met the target 29 percent of the time; now, the hospital meets it 81 percent of the time. To shorten boarding time, Saint Luke’s employs a patient placement coordinator, an individual who tracks room availability and notifies physicians of any backlog.

Robert Graham, M.D., director of the AF4Q initiative, supported the project by stating, “Sharing ideas while improving the quality of care for patients motivated individuals and gave them a new energy, which resulted in better teamwork, culture change, and system transformation.”

Those involved in the network hope to continue testing and adjusting their hospital practices in an attempt to build on the improvements that have already been made by the project.


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Guidon Performance Solutions LLC

Guidon Performance Solutions LLC a management consulting firm specializing in business performance improvement and growth, pioneered the combined application of lean and Six Sigma in the service sector. Guidon serves clients in financial services, health care, government, retail, technology, and other service organizations. Guidon provides strategic direction and hands-on implementation to guide cultural and organizational transformation. Guidon’s approach, aligned with client leadership, generates measurable results including revenue growth, cost reduction, productivity improvement, increased customer satisfaction, and innovation.