Partnering to Change the Course of Health Care History

“You have created an amazing infrastructure for safety,” Maureen Bisognano, president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), told the attendees at the 4th Annual South Carolina Patient Safety Symposium, adding that it’s time to incorporate the Triple Aim approach into efforts to transform the system. The Triple Aim, developed by IHI, lays out a vision for reforming the American health care system through the simultaneous pursuit of three goals: improving the experience of care, improving the health of populations and reducing per capita costs of health care.

 “I believe the IHI Triple Aim is designed to change the course of health care history. I believe the IHI Triple Aim is the way towards a healthier population at a lower cost. And I believe South Carolina is going to be one of the first states to prove this by adopting the Triple Aim to reengineer health care statewide through collaborative partnerships and innovative thinking focused on better care for every patient, every time.”

Next, she invited Jim Deyling, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina president, Thornton Kirby, SCHA president, and Jay Moskowitz, Health Sciences South Carolina president, to the podium to announce that the three organizations have formed a unique partnership to enhance the state’s competitiveness by improving the health of South Carolina’s citizens. Named the South Carolina Partnership for Health, the group is committed to the Triple Aim, a strategy now espoused by the nation’s leading health policy thinkers.

 “This is exciting. Rather than pursuing these objectives in isolation, our organizations will work together within the South Carolina Partnership for Health to focus on mutual priorities to improve the health of the citizens of our state,” said Deyling.

“Individual sites have been working to improve site-specific care, but we won’t achieve high-value health care unless initiatives are broadened statewide,” said Kirby.

“South Carolina is the only state in which all the major research-intensive universities and largest teaching hospital systems have joined forces to use collaborative research to improve patient care. Now we can complete the circle by engaging more directly with insurers,” said Moskowitz.

“Widespread inefficiencies in the U.S. health care system waste precious resources, best-known science is not reliably applied and our patients too frequently suffer unintended harm and avoidable deaths. For academic leaders, insurers and health care providers to come together statewide in South Carolina to tackle the Triple Aim, using a community collaborative approach, is a first in the nation,” Bisognano said.

The first project to be undertaken is reducing preventable hospital re-admissions, such as with heart failure, heart attacks and pneumonia. The group is examining academic research, marketplace success stories, barriers to care, low cost interventions and gaps in care. The team will develop possible solutions to be piloted and, if successful, the pilots can be disseminated statewide.

Future projects include fostering further development of patient-centered medical homes, reducing healthcare-acquired infections and strengthening the delivery and measurement of evidence-based care for chronic disease.

Project and study results will be shared with patients, health organizations, businesses and legislators throughout the state.

05-18-2011 10:11 (EDT)