Carolinas HealthCare System continues to lead improvements in quality patient safety

10.24.2016 News | Atrium Health News

System has prevented more than 12,266 potential patient safety events, saving nearly $76 million in care-related costs

CHARLOTTE, N.C., October 19, 2016 – Carolinas HealthCare System has been selected as one of 16 organizations in the country – and one of only two healthcare systems - to continue efforts in reducing hospital-based conditions and unplanned readmissions through the Partnership for Patients initiative.

Carolinas HealthCare System will participate in the Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks to continue working to improve patient safety and promoting accelerated, significant, and measureable reductions in patient harm within the System. This is the fifth contract Carolinas HealthCare System has been selected to be a part of through the Partnership for Patients initiative. 

“Every health care provider in the country is working towards improving the quality of the care they provide and the safety of that care, so to be recognized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for our work in this area is a tremendous reflection on the work being done here,” said Gene Woods, Carolinas HealthCare System President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our participation in the Hospital Improvement Innovation Network will help us to not only continue to improve the quality and safety of the care we provide but also share that knowledge with providers across the country to help improve care for all patients.”

The awarded Hospital Improvement Innovation Network contracts build upon the collective momentum of the Hospital Engagement Networks and Quality Improvement Organizations to reduce patient harm and readmissions. This announcement is part of a broader effort by CMS to transform the national health care system into one that works better for the American people.

The Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks project began in September 2016 and will extend for two years with a third year option, and will be focused on eleven core areas of patient harm:

  • Adverse drug events
  • Central line-associated blood stream infections
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infections
  • Clostridium difficile bacterial infection, including antibiotic stewardship
  • Injury from falls and immobility
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Sepsis and septic shock
  • Surgical site infections
  • Venous thromboembolism
  • Ventilator-associated events
  • Readmissions

Over the course of the four previous projects, Carolinas HealthCare System has prevented more than 12,266 potential patient safety events and saved nearly $76 million in care-related costs. Through 2019, the Carolinas HealthCare System Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks will build on work already proven successful in the Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) and Leading Edge Advanced Practice Topics (LEAPT) contracts by setting a goal of 20 percent reduction in core areas of overall patient harm and a 12 percent reduction in 30-day unplanned hospital readmissions.

“For many years we have set bold clinical aims and have worked as a system, alongside other health organizations to provide safe, high-quality and convenient healthcare. We’re proud that CMS continues to recognize our work and we are looking forward to building on our past successes and continuing to advance our services for the benefit of our patients – and patients across the country,” said Roger Ray, MD, Carolinas HealthCare System Executive Vice President and Chief Physician Executive.

Efforts to address health equity for Medicare beneficiaries will be central to the Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks’ efforts. The CMS will monitor and evaluate the activities of the Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks to ensure that they are generating results and improving patient safety.

“We have made significant progress in keeping patients safe – an estimated 2.1 million fewer patients harmed, 87,000 lives saved, and nearly $20 billion in cost-savings from 2010 to 2014 – and we are focused on accelerating improvement efforts,” said Patrick Conway, M.D., CMS acting principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer. “The work of the Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks will allow us to continue to improve health care safety across the nation and reduce readmissions at a national scale – keeping people as safe and healthy as possible.”

The Partnership for Patients model is one of the first models established in 2011 to be tested under the authority of section 1115A of the Social Security Act (the Act) with the goal of reducing program expenditures while preserving or enhancing the quality of care. Since the launch of the Partnership for Patients and the work of Hospital Engagement Networks in collaboration with many other stakeholders, the vast majority of U.S. hospitals have delivered results as demonstrated by the achievement of unprecedented national reductions in harm. CMS believes that the upcoming work of the Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks, working as part of the Quality Improvement Organization’s work to improve patient safety and the quality of care in the Medicare program, will continue the great strides made in improving care provided to beneficiaries.  

For more information about Carolinas HealthCare System’s commitment to quality, please visit:

For more information on the Partnership for Patients and the Hospital Engagement Networks, please visit:

About Carolinas HealthCare System

Carolinas HealthCare System (, one of the nation’s leading and most innovative healthcare organizations, provides a full spectrum of healthcare and wellness programs throughout North and South Carolina. Its diverse network of care locations includes academic medical centers, hospitals, freestanding emergency departments, physician practices, surgical and rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, nursing homes and behavioral health centers, as well as hospice and palliative care services. Carolinas HealthCare System works to enhance the overall health and wellbeing of its communities through high quality patient care, education and research programs, and numerous collaborative partnerships and initiatives.