Maine Healthcare Leaders Sign Partnership for Patients


BREWER, Maine – (June 13, 2011) – Healthcare providers in Maine and across the nation work very hard to deliver safe, quality care to their patients. At EMHS, we’ve been working toward “Zero Defects,” which means preventing infections and eliminating serious medical errors. Preventing or even reducing the frequency of these events will improve care and lower costs at the same time.

This year, the US Department of Health and Human Services introduced a Partnership for Patients initiative designed to, “help improve the quality, safety, and affordability of healthcare for all Americans.” The Partnership for Patients: Better Care, Lower Costs brings together leaders of hospitals, employers, physicians, nurses, and patient advocates along with state and federal governments. Today, Christie Hagar, regional director of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and Jaye Weisman, regional administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services joined Maine health leaders at a news conference to explain how Partnership for Patients aligns with the Affordable Care Act and complements the good work already going on in Maine around quality and safety initiatives.

EMHS president and CEO Michelle Hood, FACHE says while safety and quality are the hallmarks of Partnership for Patients, another very important piece of the pledge deals with payment reform. “Ongoing efforts seek to reduce the overall cost of healthcare while improving the quality of care patients receive. This includes linking payment to quality standards, and investing in patient safety initiatives to reduce preventable hospitalizations,” Hood says.

EMHS chief medical officer, Erik Steele, DO, says hospitals in this system are signing on to the pledge because it’s the right thing to do, and because EMHS hospitals are already working in this direction. “We have several years under our belts of focusing on the same nine goals included in the Partnership for Patients initiative,” says Dr. Steele, “so it stands to reason that we would want to align ourselves with hospitals and health systems nationally who share our vision of ‘zero defects’.”

Rebecca Ryder, president and CEO of Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington echoed Dr. Steele’s remarks. At the news conference today, Ryder said her hospital is especially interested in the obstetrical initiatives associated with Partnership for Patients. Franklin Memorial has adopted the “zero defects” model for Cesarean Sections and respiratory complications for newborns and is realizing improved outcomes.

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