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Published on May 27, 2014

Altru Health System Improves Patient Safety and Quality with VHA Hospital Engagement Network

Grand Forks, ND – Altru Health System announced today that it has made care safer for its patients as part of its work with VHA Inc.’s Hospital Engagement Network (HEN). VHA is a national network of not-for-profit health care organizations that work together to improve performance and efficiency in clinical, financial and operational management. VHA’s HEN helps hospitals improve in ten areas of focus ranging from falls and surgical site infections to readmissions as part of the federal Partnership for Patients initiative whose goal is to reduce preventable harm by 40 percent and readmissions by 20 percent by the end of 2014.

VHA’s HEN hospitals have, in aggregate, met or exceeded the Partnership’s 40 percent improvement goal in two areas of focus and are making strong progress in four other areas:

  • Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections: 31% decrease for an aggregate measure of two indicators
  • Central Line Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSI): 40% decrease for an aggregate measure of four indicators
  • Early Elective Delivery (EED): 78% decrease for an aggregate measure of two indicators
  • Falls: 30% decrease for an aggregate measure of six indicators
  • Pressure Related Ulcers (PrU): 39% decrease for an aggregate measure of six indicators
  • Surgical Site Infections (SSI): 39% decrease in abdominal hysterectomy SIR

“Patient safety and ensuring we are providing the best care for our community has always been our highest priority,” said Heather Strandell, administrative director of care management at Altru. “In the last year, we have reduced adverse patient events through the hard work of staff and our continued focus on applying best practices.” 

“VHA is extremely proud to have been selected as a Hospital Engagement Network by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Partnership for Patients. It is gratifying to see the results our HEN hospitals are achieving and it builds on our long-standing commitment to help hospitals improve their performance,” said Dr. Keith Kosel, vice president and program director for VHA’s HEN. “We hope that our overall network’s results inspire hospitals that are not currently in a Hospital Engagement Network to join.”

About Altru Health System

Altru Health System is a community-owned, integrated system with an acute care hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, more than a dozen clinics in Grand Forks and the region, a large home care network, and a congregate living facility. It employs more than 200 physicians and 3,800 staff and has an annual net operating revenue of more than $400 million.

About VHA

VHA Inc. is a national network of not-for-profit health care organizations working together to improve performance and efficiency in clinical, financial and operational management. Since 1977, when VHA established the first hospital membership organization, the company has applied its knowledge in analytics, contracting, consulting and network development to help members and customers achieve their strategic objectives. Serving 5,100 health system members and affiliates, VHA represents more than a quarter of the nation’s hospitals.