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May 9, 2005

Council joins coalition for improved health care outcomes

The Business Council has joined a statewide coalition of health-care interests in a new effort to implement health-care strategies that will improve outcomes for patients.

The effort, part of a new initiative from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) called the 100,000 Lives Campaign, is being led and coordinated by the Healthcare Association of New York (HANYS).

“The movement toward driving medically proven best practices can only improve quality and efficiencies in our hospitals,” said Ed Reinfurt, vice president of the Business Council. “This effort will benefit consumers and payers of health care alike. We applaud the effort and look forward to working in our communities to be sure this campaign receives the support it deserves.”

The IHI’s 100,000 Lives Campaign is targeted at changing and improving health care to avoid preventable deaths, according to IHI’s Web site. The campaign hopes to enlist 2,000 hospitals across the country that will implement six practices known to curb preventable deaths. Those include: implementation of rapid response teams; delivery of reliable, “evidence-based” treatment for acute myocardial infarction; and prevention of adverse drug events, surgical site and central line infections, and ventilator assisted pneumonia.

“The IHI 100,000 Lives Campaign is a winning formula for hospitals, doctors, nurses, and most importantly, the patients we all serve,” said Daniel Sisto, HANYS president. “More than half of New York’s hospitals have already signed on to the campaign and we believe many more will join in this historic national effort to improve the quality of care for millions of Americans.

“Evidence has demonstrated that real improvements in patient care can be achieved by implementing the practice changes included in the campaign. Moreover, with so many hospitals participating, shared knowledge and best practices will foster rapid improvements and advances in patient care,” Sisto said.

The Business Council has long been an advocate of improved health-care techniques, including electronic patient records that would help prevent mistakes on paper that may translate to life-threatening oversights.

HANYS held a press conference in Albany today to introduce coalition members. HANYS was joined by Ed Reinfurt, vice president of the Business Council; representatives from IHI; the Center for Medical Consumers; the Medical Society of the State of New York; the Health Plan Association; the New York Organization of Nurse Executives; the New York State Nurses Association; the United Hospital Fund; IPRO (New York State’s health care quality improvement program); and the Healthcare Trustees of New York State (HTNYS).