AHA Trendwatch Report Shows Hospital Progress on Quality

The American Hospital Association's latest Trendwatch report reveals how hospitals' ongoing quality improvement efforts have led to significant progress on quality and patient safety.


Quality improvement initiatives can take on various forms (Lean, Six Sigma and the Plan-Do-Study-Act model), but all efforts include five critical steps:

1.    Identify areas for improvement.
2.    Determine what processes should be changed to improve quality.
3.    Develop and implement strategies to improve quality.
4.    Measure performance and outcomes.
5.    Share results with others.

Quality improvement efforts over the last several years have paved the way to significantly improved outcomes, including:

•    Percentage of patients undergoing percutaneous coronary interventions within 90 minutes of arrival at a hospital (72 percent in 2007 to 94 percent in 2011);
•    Central line-associated bloodstram infections (2.5 infections per 1,000 central line days in 2004 to 0.86 infections per 1,000 central line days in 2009);
•    Central line-associated bloodstream infection standardized infection ratio (1 in 2006 to 2008 to approximately 0.6 in 2010);
•    Rate of adherence to Surgical Care Improvement Project process measures; and
•    Composite rates greater than 90 percent for accountability measures.

To read the Trendwatch report in greater detail, click here.

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