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'The Business of Health Care Report'

QUEST: High Performing Hospitals

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I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

The question of how to improve health care quality while reducing cost lies at the heart of the national health care debate. At Texas Health Resources, we’ve been actively pursuing solutions to this question for years. One example is our voluntary participation in a three-year hospital improvement collaborative called QUEST: High Performing Hospitals.

Overseen by Premier Inc. and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, QUEST brings together 157 non-profit hospitals across 31 states with three simple goals: save lives, safely reduce the cost of care, and deliver the most reliable, effective, evidence-based care. Participating hospitals have worked to improve quality, measure progress and share data to create best practices.

After one year of participation in QUEST, the collaborative was able to demonstrate that improving quality of care can lead to reductions in cost. In 2008 alone, QUEST hospitals reduced the cost of care by an average of $343 per patient, saving $577 million dollars, and — most importantly — saving an estimated 8,043 lives.

Of all hospital systems participating in QUEST, I’m proud to report that Texas Health was one of only two systems nationwide to have four hospitals achieve top performance thresholds in every area measured. Congratulations to Texas Health Hurst-Euless Bedford, Texas Health Cleburne, Texas Health Azle, and Texas Health Kaufman, for setting an example of excellence for others to follow.

For our faith-based family of hospitals — Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Arlington Memorial — I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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