Saving Lives, Raising Hopes

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<p>In a new <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=22934&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Faboutus%2Faboutus%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D380090%26%23doc380090">online essay,</a> The Commonwealth Fund's Stephen C. Schoenbaum, M.D., highlights two national quality improvement initiatives that are beginning to yield life-saving results.<br><br>On June 14, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement announced that its 100,000 Lives Campaign had prevented 122,000 deaths in U.S. hospitals, exceeding an 18-month goal. And on June 20, Premier, Inc., an alliance of nonprofit hospitals and health care systems, revealed that its three-year pay-for-performance demonstration project with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is resulting in better care for heart attacks, bypass surgery, pneumonia, heart failure, and hip and knee replacements.<bR><bR>These initiatives show that it is possible to engage a broad constituency in improving care, and that evidence-based interventions can produce meaningful benefits for patients and the health care industry alike. At the same time, they point to the need for a national process--involving both the public and private sectors--for stimulating quality improvement in all care settings and for all patient populations.</p>