CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 13, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hospitals in Premier, Inc.'s (Nasdaq:PINC) QUEST® collaborative saved approximately $11.65 billion and avoided 136,375 deaths over the past five and a half years using the alliance's proven methodology and integrated analytics to set new standards of healthcare excellence.
While national hospital costs have increased by 37 percent since 2008, costs for QUEST hospitals have only risen 14 percent and remained flat for the past year. This averages out to an annual 2.3 percent year-over-year cost increase that is only 0.4 percent above the rate of inflation, suggesting that QUEST members are bending the cost curve in healthcare comparable to the rest of the economy. In fact, if all 5,700+ acute-care hospitals nationwide were able to achieve QUEST standards of performance, $21 billion could have been saved last year.
In addition to lowering costs, QUEST members have made substantial gains in quality, including reducing their mortality rates 14 percentage points lower than a matched sample of hospitals not in QUEST. Of the deaths avoided, the largest improvements were made in sepsis (21 percent of all deaths prevented), stroke, heart failure and respiratory infections (reduced by 6 percent each).
QUEST is a national quality improvement collaborative of approximately 350 hospitals representing almost every state in the country, including all hospitals in Hawaii. Members are large and small, teaching and non-teaching, urban and rural, and high and low disproportionate share hospitals.
"Too often, the healthcare debate centers around the policies needed to incent change," said Susan DeVore, Premier president and CEO. "But we have learned that change can be driven from the inside, using data to pinpoint opportunity areas, friendly competition to 'race to the top,' and a collaborative model for sharing best practices. QUEST members are setting new standards in healthcare quality, efficiency and safety. Their results show these efforts to improve do not require additional cost – they actually reduce costs and save lives. It is our hope that hospitals across the country will benchmark against and seek to beat the QUEST performance levels."
QUEST members rely on Premier's proven methodology to transparently share and compare their data, performance and experiences with one another. All measures used by the collaborative are publicly available and can be leveraged by any hospital to set quality improvement goals based on aggressive standards of top performance.
This collaborative approach to performance improvement has led to the identification and rapid adoption of best practices to reduce mortality and costs, and improve safety, patient experience, quality and the delivery of evidence-based care. These interventions were also successful in:
"QUEST accelerates quality and cost improvement efforts by creating an open forum to test ideas and scale positive change," said Harold Berenzweig, MD, executive vice president at Texas Health Resources, a QUEST member in Arlington, Texas. "By comparing our data with others, we can clearly see where performance gaps may exist. We then work together to rethink the status quo way of providing care. In QUEST, we're transforming the delivery of healthcare in North Texas, one innovation at a time, to benefit all of our communities."
QUEST aligns with federal policies, such as the federal hospital value-based purchasing (VBP) program. However, the collaborative began before VBP became reality. In fact, the latest findings show that QUEST members are 33 percent more likely to win VBP bonuses than like hospitals not in the collaborative.
"Programs like QUEST help us change the game," said Nancy Carragee, vice president of quality improvement at Daughters of Charity Health System, a QUEST member in Los Altos Hills, Calif., that serves the sick and those living in poverty in communities from the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles. "We work as a team to create and sustain care delivery improvements to benefit our patients and show the industry what can be achieved. With approaching payment cuts, marketplace changes and reforms that require taking on more risk, there couldn't be a better time to be a part of a program like this."
QUEST members have also enhanced their performance through short-term, rapid-cycle educational "sprints," designed to drive and sustain improvement in specific processes of care. Through these efforts, they have reduced:
QUEST members use Premier's integrated technology platform PremierConnect™ to standardize and share patient data, performance improvement analytics, and evidence-based best practices with one another. PremierConnect aggregates patient data on 1 in 4 U.S. hospital discharges, evidence-based best practices from 2.5 million daily clinical transactions, and approximately $40 billion in annual provider purchases. The platform enables providers to interact in real-time and ensure best practices are being implemented nationwide.
About Premier, Inc.
Premier, Inc. (Nasdaq:PINC) is a leading healthcare improvement company, uniting an alliance of more than 2,900 U.S. hospitals and nearly 100,000 other providers to transform healthcare. With integrated data and analytics, collaboratives, supply chain solutions, and advisory and other services, Premier enables better care and outcomes at a lower cost. Premier, a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient, plays a critical role in the rapidly evolving healthcare industry, collaborating with members to co-develop long-term innovations that reinvent and improve the way care is delivered to patients nationwide. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Premier is passionate about transforming American healthcare. Please visit Premier's news and investor sites on www.premierinc.com; as well as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Foursquare and Premier's blog for more information about the company.
Alven Weil, Premier, Inc.; Alven_Weil@PremierInc.com, 704.816.5797