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Saint Luke’s Cushing Hospital leads patient safety program

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — Saint Luke’s Cushing Hospital has been recognized by the Kansas Hospital Association (KHA) for its participation in a three-year national Partnership for Patients initiative known as the Hospital Engagement Network (HEN).

On Dec. 2, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that HEN efforts to improve patient safety resulted in a 17 percent decline in hospital-acquired conditions (HACs), such as adverse drug events, pressure ulcers, and surgical site infections among others. HHS had set an ambitious goal of reducing HACs by 40 percent and readmissions by 20 percent by the end of 2014.

Saint Luke’s Cushing Hospital and 99 other hospitals in the Kansas HEN collectively prevented an estimated 3,800 safety events (including readmissions) at an estimated cost savings of more than $23.2 million, as calculated by the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET). HHS reported that national efforts to improve patient safety resulted in an estimated 1.3 million fewer patient safety events, 50,000 lives saved, and $12 billion in health spending avoided.

“Our health care team is devoted to providing the safest and most high-quality care in the area,” Adele Ducharme, Saint Luke’s Cushing Hospital CEO, said. “We are proud of our collaboration with our peers across the state, our patients, and the impact our work has made to improve patient safety.”

“It’s because of the dedication from our physicians, nurses, and other key staff that we have been successful in reaching these goals,” Ducharme added.

The statewide collaborative, led by the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative, allowed hospitals to learn from state and national subject matter experts, plus work together to share best practices and resources to rapidly achieve progress in technical and cultural aspects of patient safety.

“KHC congratulations Kansas hospitals for their extensive contributions and work together to improve quality and patient safety throughout Kansas,” Kendra Tinsley, KHC executive director, said. “These reductions are the result of a deep commitment to patient safety and have a demonstrable impact on patients’ lives.”

“These phenomenal results across the state and nation represent major strides in patient safety thanks to a strong collaboration among our hospitals,” Tom Bell, president and CEO of KHA, said. “We congratulate and thank all Kansas hospitals and our many partners for their leadership and hard work now and in the future.”

In 2015, many Kansas hospitals will continue their collaboration through the Kansas HEN. KHC will sustain and support the improvement infrastructure created for Kansas hospitals by offering education and technical assistance, as well as providing resources and opportunities for peer-to-peer learning.

For more information about Saint Luke’s Cushing Hospital and its patient safety initiatives, please contact Kimberly Richardson, Director of Quality at or 913-684-1171. For more information about the Kansas HEN, visit