WIHI: The Ground Game of the Partnership for Patients

Date: June 27, 2013


  • Ann Hendrich, RN, PhD, FAAN, Senior Vice President, Clinical Quality and Safety; CNO; Executive Director, Patient Safety Organization (PSO), Ascension Health
  • Deborah Morris Nadzam, PhD, RN, BB, FAAN, Project Director, JCR Partnership for Patients Hospital Engagement Network
  • Katherine Luther, RN, MPM, Vice President, Institute for Healthcare Improvement
  • Libby Hoy, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Patient & Family Centered Care Partners (Long Beach, CA) 

When it comes to patient safety and reducing harm, one of the biggest challenges US hospitals face day-to-day is how to maintain a relentless focus on everything that needs to be improved and worked on, simultaneously. Building reliable systems, engaging leaders, insisting on a team-based culture, and ensuring that staff has the necessary improvement skills have become essential underpinnings at every organization. So has joining up with something larger — to keep the pressure on, commit to stretch goals, and benefit from coaching and continuous learning. 

The Partnership for Patients, launched by the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in April 2011, is attempting to be that “something larger” for some 3,700 hospitals that have signed on to reduce nine hospital-acquired conditions by 40% and hospital readmissions by 20% by December 2013. What does this sprint look like from the vantage point of the 26 Hospital Engagement Networks (HENS) that form the backbone of the initiative? On this WIHI, we check in with two HENS — Ascension Health and Joint Commission Resources, Inc. Ann Hendrich and Deborah Nadzam are our invaluable informants, along with Libby Hoy, who’s playing a crucial role embedding patient engagement into every hospital’s safety work. IHI’s Kathy Luther also shares her perspective on what we’re learning about reducing harm from this ambitious initiative. 

At one level, the Partnership for Patients is about doing all the right things to protect patients from a list of hospital-acquired conditions and avoidable readmissions. But as you’ll find out on this WIHI, if the improvements are going to be lasting, hearts and minds have to change, too.


Average Content Rating
(0 user)
Please login to rate or comment on this content.
User Comments