Investing in the MHA Keystone initiative saves lives and dollars

Investing in the MHA Keystone initiative saves lives and dollars

For the past seven years, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has partnered with the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) Keystone Center to advance projects aimed at transforming the way health care is delivered in Michigan, with a focus on improving patient safety and outcomes.

Today’s announcement the Blues’ will continue this partnership with a $10 million investment over the next five years should come as no surprise, especially when considering the successes demonstrated in reducing the risk to patients.

For example, a project aimed at reducing the incidence of central-line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in ICUs had tremendous results, measured over a 12-month period, March 2010 to March 2011. The effort to reduce CLABSIs resulted in an estimated 36 lives saved and $6.4 million net savings. VAP patients also benefitted, with 79 lives saved, and a net savings of $2.2 million.

According to Susan Barkell, BCBSM senior vice president for Health Care Value, lives and dollars have been saved through this program because of the collaborative environment MHA has created.

“Michigan hospitals are brought together in a way that is very non-threatening and provides an opportunity for the community to talk about safety and quality issues,” she notes.  “The Keystone Process is very transformational because it brings together people who are very close to the issues and lets them talk about the changes needed in a non-threatening manner.”

The medical community has taken note of the work MHA has done with these collaboratives as well.  The American Journal Medical Quality in their September/October 2011 issue highlighted the CLABSI collaborative. The journal noted that hospitals received a 10 to 1 return on investment when implementing the identified solutions.

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