In 2000, the Institute of Medicine published To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System, a startling report noting that preventable medical errors killed up to 98,000 patients, harmed hundreds of thousands more, and led to nearly $30 billion in total costs. Learning health networks – sustainable collaborations between patients, families, clinicians, research scientists, and quality improvement professionals – were proposed as a potential solution for reducing patient harm and improving outcomes across many health conditions.
David Purcell, a senior research scientist at CCPI, formerly served as the Director of Decision Science supporting analytics and research methodology for a dozen learning health networks based at the James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Purcell is the co-author of a new publication in JAMA Pediatrics, a top-ranked pediatric research journal published by the American Medical Association, that illustrates the successes of this collaborative approach.
"Association Between Hospital-Acquired Harm Outcomes and Membership in a National Patient Safety Collaborative" explains how Solutions for Patient Safety (SPS) demonstrated statistically significant reductions in seven of eight types of hospital-acquired harm in 99 children's hospitals in the network. Rigorous interrupted times series analyses found that three of these types of harm (adverse drug events, falls, and central line-assisted blood stream infections) were significantly reduced after the introduction of SPS intervention bundles. An associated editorial in JAMA Pediatrics describes the results as "remarkable" and "extremely encouraging" for the cause to reduce hospital-acquired harm. The full study is available here.