After repeated state budget cuts, South Carolina hospitals recently got good news from the federal government. The federal Partnership for Patients program will give South Carolina hospitals $1 million per year for at least the next two years to improve hospital quality.
Participating hospitals must reduce readmissions by 20 percent and hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent. Readmissions are typically used to determine hospital quality. The higher the readmission rate, the more likely the patient was not ready for discharge or was ill-prepared for discharge. Death and injury rates are higher among readmitted patients.
Hospitals will also target hospital-acquired conditions like infections, adverse drug events, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, injuries from falls, and adverse obstetrical events among others.
“This is going to mean we’ll be able to move forward more aggressively toward making care safer for patients, and being able to have more resources to help hospitals accomplish that,” said Dr. Rick Foster, senior vice president for quality and patient safety at the South Carolina Hospital Association.
The additional funding nearly doubles what hospitals were already investing in improving patient safety. In a time of deep budget cuts across the state, the funding is much needed by the hospitals.
Partnership for Patients hopes the nationwide initiative will result in 1.8 million fewer injuries, 1.6 million fewer readmissions, and more than 60,000 lives saved.