MUMC Recognized for Improving Quality While Reducing Costs

(October 21, 2009) - Memorial University Medical Center (MUMC) in Savannah, Georgia, has been recognized for quality performance in three areas in a nationwide hospital quality improvement project. Memorial University Medical Center saved an average $1,089 of per patient as a participant in the Premier Inc., healthcare alliance QUEST: High-Performing Hospitals, a voluntary, three-year project made up of 157 not-for-profit hospitals across 31 states, including urban/rural, large/small, and teaching/non-teaching facilities.

Based on first-year results from the project, MUMC received awards for top performance on the following performance goals:
• Save lives: Eliminate avoidable hospital mortalities.
• Safely reduce the cost of care: Reduce the costs for each patient's hospitalization.
• Deliver the most reliable and effective care: Ensure that patients receive every recommended evidence-based care measure.

"Improving mortality has been a strategic initiative at MUMC for many years, so we were excited to participate in QUEST. This project gives us an opportunity to benchmark our mortality data against other organizations, to see how we compare. We've been able to learn from other organizations' best practices and in turn, have been able to share some of our experience and successes. We are always pursuing excellence in clinical care, and QUEST is a natural extension of that pursuit," said Marty B. Scott, M.D., MBA, vice president of quality and patient safety at MUMC.

"That QUEST has recognized our efforts in providing outstanding quality in clinical care should make Memorial's Team Members, medical staff, and our board of directors proud," said Memorial Health President and CEO Phillip Schaengold. "This top rating is further evidence of our efforts at world-class service."

Since setting the three-year goals at the baseline, QUEST hospitals have saved an estimated 8,043 lives and $577 million in one year, according to first-year results. Cost of care was reduced by an average of $343 per patient.

Of the approximately 2.3 million patients treated annually in hospitals, 24,818 received treatments that met the highest-quality patient care standards when compared to baseline performance at the outset of the project. The delivery of every recommended patient care measure increased by 8.74 percentage points, to deliver perfect care an average of 86.3 percent of the time. At the same time, QUEST hospitals achieved a 14 percent reduction in observed mortality when compared to what was expected.

According to an analysis of these year one results, if all hospitals not participating in QUEST were to achieve the improvements found among the participants, they could save an estimated 52,760 lives and $1.16 billion in costs. In addition, 27,771 more patients could receive all recommended care.

Developed in partnership with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, QUEST is designed to springboard hospitals to new levels of performance and inform public policies with tangible results. To accomplish this, QUEST bench-marked participating facilities using data from Premier's clinical database to determine the "baseline" level of performance in cost, mortality and evidence-based care delivery.

Hospitals were then challenged to overcome the main factors that lead to deaths, errors, and excessive costs, and measure themselves against one another to achieve top performance. QUEST also benefits from an Advisory Panel of experts from 20 of the country's top healthcare organizations, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, National Quality Forum, and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Moving forward for years two and three of the program, additional performance metrics will be added to QUEST, including:
• Improve patient safety: Prevent incidents of harm in more than 30 categories, including healthcare-acquired infections and birth injuries.
• Increase satisfaction: Improve the patient's overall care experience and loyalty to the care providing facility.

The Premier healthcare alliance is more than 2,200 U.S. hospitals and 63,000-plus other healthcare sites working together to improve healthcare quality and affordability.

Memorial University Medical Center is a two-state healthcare organization serving a 35-county area in southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina. The system includes its flagship hospital, a 530-bed academic medical center; Memorial primary and specialty care physician networks; a major medical education program; business and industry services; and NurseOne, a 24-hour call center.