Data-sharing initiative reduces deaths

Premier's QUEST collaborative shows sharing data, expertise improves performance, saves lives, reduces costs
By Bernie Monegain
09:53 AM
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Sharing data has saved 92,000 lives and $9.1 billion over four and a half years, according to Premier healthcare alliance, which today released results of its QUEST collaborative, made up of 333 hospitals that are members of the alliance. Hospitals nationwide could save 950,000 lives and approximately $93 billion over five years by replicating performance boosting practices employed by QUEST.

Members of the QUEST initiative shared outcomes data and expertise, such as best practices in order to improve their performance across the board.

Among some of the results: Central-line associated blood stream infections reduced by 59 percent, falls and pressure ulcers by 64 percent. Supply costs cut by 29 percent, labor costs by 26 percent.

[See also: Premier makes big connect with big data.]

Premier released the data on a call this morning with members of the news media. It was due to brief lawmakers on Capitol Hill later today.

The $9.1 billion saved is enough to pay the annual salaries of every active NFL, NBA and MLB player combined, according to Premier executives, who describe QUEST asthe largest value-based initiative designed to help hospitals and health systems reliably deliver the most efficient, effective and caring experience for every patient, every single time.

Those are the kind of results Donald Berwick, MD, likes to see. Berwick is senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and former administrator for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

"I think QUEST is undoubtedly a breakthrough," he said. He called the initiative a breakthrough for hospitals and for all of healthcare. Not only does QUEST show improvements in care, but it also cuts costs, he noted.

"The very best way to control costs is to make care better," Berwick said.

"Providers in Premier’s QUEST collaborative have committed to specifically matching the level of care with the needs of the patient to achieve positive outcomes," he said. “Through this and other initiatives, the alliance is creating a quality framework that helps to answer important questions in healthcare that help improve quality and bend the cost curve."

QUEST hospitals observed mortality is 10 percent lower than national averages. At the same time QUEST hospitals have been improving their overall quality standards, they have also reduced the mean cost per discharge by $1,110, primarily by reducing costs for both labor and supplies by focusing on resource utilization, improved workflows and eliminating waste. As a result, QUEST hospitals’ costs are 14 percent lower than national averages, and have remained flat for the last three quarters.