Since 2004, Albany Memorial Hospital and Samaritan Hospital have been proud members of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), a Boston-based, international not-for-profit organization focused on driving the improvement of healthcare by advancing quality, value and breakthrough improvments in healthcare. Through their membership in IHI, the hospitals participate in IMPACT, a network of nationally known hospitals collaborating to identify best practices.
In early 2005, Albany Memorial and Samaritan hospitals became the first hospitals in the Capital Region to enroll in the IHI's 100,000 Lives Campaign, a first-of-its-kind national initiative to improve quality of patient care through clinical best practices and methods known to reduce harm and save lives. The changes included:
Subsequently, the hospitals participated in the IHI's 5 Million Lives Campaign that challenged hospitals to continue utilizing the best practices identified in the 100,000 Lives Campaign, and called for six new changes to patient care aimed at reducing harm, including preventing infections in the hospital, and reducing surgical complications, pressure ulcers and harm from high-alert medications.
Today, Northeast Health continues to be firmly committed to the improvement initiatives of the 100,000 Lives Campagign and the 5 Million Lives Campaign. Performance on the initiatives continues to be tracked.
In addition, in September 2009, Northeast Health kicked off a network-wide initiative by joining the IHI's campaign to reduce hospital readmissions. A cross-continuum team of about 20 individuals held a successful week-long Kaizen event to improve the transition from hospital to home and improve communications with community primary care physicians. The goal of the group is to reduce the hospitals' readmission rate by 30 percent by the end of 2010.
Also, Northeast Health affiliates are working with CDPHP (Capital District Physicians Health Plan) and CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) Care Transitions Initiative to reduce hospitalizations, as well as to improve communications of transfer information; patient/caregiver self-management and follow-up care; and patient satisfaction.
In 2008, Albany Memorial and Samaritan were asked to join the IHI's Mentor Hospital Network, a prestigious group of only 160 hospitals from across the country that have had exemplary success with improving care. IHI believes that some of the most productive learning occurs when hospitals communicate directly with each other to exchange success stories, challenges, tactics and advice. IHI recognized Albany Memorial and Samaritan for the outstanding accomplishments made to improve care, specifically in the areas of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and prevention of ventilator-associated infections and central line infections.