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UC Health signs national pledge promoting patient safety

University of California Health and its five medical centers have joined the federal government’s Partnership for Patients, a $1 billion patient-safety initiative aimed at improving care and lowering costs.

Announced last month by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Partnership for Patients is a public-private collaboration that includes hospitals, employers, health plans, physicians, nurses and patient advocates.

The national initiative will focus on hospital safety with the goal of reducing preventable hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent, saving 60,000 lives, and reducing hospital readmissions by 20 percent over the next three years. The partnership has the potential to save up to $35 billion in health care costs, including up to $10 billion for Medicare alone.

UC Health has signed the pledge along with medical centers at UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC San Diego and UC San Francisco, joining more than 1,000 hospitals, as well as physicians and nurses groups, consumer groups and employers.

The initiative aligns with UC Health efforts to advance patient safety. UC Health has been working to reduce hospital-acquired conditions such as pressure ulcers and central line-associated bloodstream infections.

From fiscal 2008 to 2010, UC medical centers reduced bloodstream infections among adult, non-burn patients from 3.1 to 1.39/1,000 line days, a drop of 55 percent. In October, UC Health launched the Center for Health Quality and Innovation to further support UC projects that improve quality, access and value in the delivery of health care.

“UC Health is proud to be part of the Partnership for Patients,” said Dr. John Stobo, UC senior vice president for health sciences and services. “We can’t rest on our laurels. We provide our patients with excellent care, and it’s important to continue to develop innovations that improve safety and reduce costs.”

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