Partnership for Patients

Prepared for
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Improving quality, safety and affordability of health care for all Americans is a key health care goal for our nation. The Partnership for Patients (PfP) campaign was launched in April 2011 with the ambitious goals of reducing preventable hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) by 40 percent and 30-day hospital readmissions by 20 percent. To reduce harm at this level of magnitude, the campaign implemented a strategy to align all health care stakeholders, including federal and other public and private health care payors, providers, and patients, to focus on this issue concurrently. By influencing everyone to move in the same direction at the same time, the program strove to overcome the inherently limited reach of any single initiative operating in a complex environment.

The program is national in scope, due to its level of implementation. For example, over 70 percent of general acute care hospitals in the United States—representing over 80 percent of admissions—worked with PfP-funded Hospital Engagement Networks (HENs) during 2012-2013. Areas of preventable harm include readmissions, adverse drug events, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central line-associated bloodstream infections, injuries from falls and immobility, early elective deliveries, other obstetrical adverse events, pressure ulcers, surgical site infections, venous thromboembolism, and ventilator-associated pneumonia.

Working with the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation and the Health Services Advisory Group, we conducted a formative evaluation and an impact evaluation of the campaign. The formative evaluation included assessing and providing feedback on the progress of HENs and their participating hospitals, and on the campaign overall, and suggesting ways to further improve. The impact evaluation estimated impacts of PfP on hospital behavior, rates of inpatient adverse events and hospital readmissions, and health care costs.