; Independence Blue Cross Extends Funding To Enhance Patient Safety At Area Hospitals
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Press Release

Independence Blue Cross Extends Funding To Enhance Patient Safety At Area Hospitals

November 1, 2012

PHILADELPHIA – Independence Blue Cross announced today that it will extend its support for the Partnership for Patient Care, a quality and patient safety collaborative led by southeastern Pennsylvania hospitals, with funding up to $1.1 million through 2013. The funding will be provided to the Health Care Improvement Foundation, a nonprofit health and safety organization that oversees the Partnership’s projects. Matching funds will be raised from the hospital community, reflecting their commitment to accelerating the implementation of evidence-based clinical practices. Earlier this year, IBC contributed $500,000 to support the Partnership in 2012.

Launched in 2006 with IBC’s three-year financial support of $1.25 million, the Partnership initially focused on the prevention of hospital-acquired infections. To date, IBC has contributed close to $5 million to the Partnership to improve patient safety in the region in a variety of areas.

Nearly every area hospital has participated in a number of Partnership initiatives that promote the use of evidence-based best practices to improve the quality and safety of health care in our region. Since the Partnership began, its projects have:

improved adoption of processes that prevent surgical site infections, such as increased control of blood sugar levels in patients about to undergo surgery and optimized use of antibiotics before and after surgery;

  • implemented best practices for the prevention of central line-associated blood infections;
  • helped prevent life-threatening blood clots that can develop during hospitalization;
  • reduced the rate of harmful patient falls in 25 hospitals by 40% during five consecutive quarters from 2009 to 2010;
  • improved the transition of care from hospital to home resulting in a 10% reduction in 30-day readmission rates in 20 participating hospitals over 18 months;
  • enhanced monitoring of medications to prevent harmful drug interactions and dosing errors;
  • raised awareness about the threat of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) through the Fight MRSA! Alliance.

“I congratulate IBC for once again showing its strong commitment to working with hospitals to make our region one of the safest places in the country to receive care,” said Kate Flynn, president of the Health Care Improvement Foundation. “We are looking forward to the continued progress and success of the Partnership for Patient Care on future projects that address many of our region’s most vital health care concerns.”

“The Partnership for Patient Care unites health care professionals with a common goal to make health care safer for everybody and we are proud to continue our support,” said Daniel J. Hilferty, president and CEO, Independence Blue Cross. “Over the past six years, the Partnership has clearly shown the value of bringing together various stakeholders to address many of our region’s most pressing safety issues. We applaud our hospital partners for their commitment and participation and for all the positive changes they’ve made to improve the care their patients receive.”

Some of the new projects the Partnership is currently working on include:

  • an initiative to increase awareness of palliative care and identify the standards that create high-quality, effective palliative care programs;
  • efforts to reduce preventable adverse obstetrical events by 50%;
  • a collaborative aimed at improving the safety of CT imaging by reducing exposure to unnecessary radiation.

About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we have 3.1 million members nationwide. For nearly 75 years, we have been enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more about how we’re changing the game, visit www.ibx.com. Connect with us on Facebook at ibx.com/facebook and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

About the Health Care Improvement Foundation
The Health Care Improvement Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the vision that, through an engaged, collaborative community, the region benefits from a high-performing healthcare delivery system demonstrating enhanced measures of safety, quality, and effectiveness.   The foundation leads health care improvement initiatives by engaging multi-stakeholder resources to implement solutions that no market participant could achieve individually.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 37 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 105 million members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.