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Texas Health Azle Achieves Top Performance in National Quality Collaborative
10/21/2009

AZLE, Texas — Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Azle has demonstrated that improving the quality of care can lead to lower costs of care during Year 1 of a national hospital improvement collaborative called QUEST: High Performing Hospitals.

QUEST, overseen by Premier Inc. healthcare alliance, is a voluntary, three-year project made up of 157 not-for-profit hospitals across 31 states. The goal is threefold: save lives, safely reduce the cost of care, and deliver the most reliable, effective, evidence-based care. Participating hospitals work to improve quality, measure progress and share data to create best practices.

Texas Health Azle is among 25 percent of hospitals participating in the collaborative that reached top performance thresholds in all three areas measured. Based on first-year results from the project, Texas Health Azle received awards for top performance on the following 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.

“Texas Health Azle has reached new levels of excellence in the delivery of evidence-based care, and our patients are the beneficiaries,” said hospital President Winjie Tang Miao. “This distinction represents a lot of hard work and an unrelenting commitment to quality improvement on the part of our physicians on the medical staff, our nurses, and other clinical staff throughout the hospital.”

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. 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.

Cost of care was reduced by an average of $343 per patient and 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.

“These remarkable results highlight what can be achieved when hospitals set high goals and focus on continuous improvement,” said Susan DeVore, Premier president and CEO. “QUEST hospitals are outpacing the performance of others, proving that when hospitals work together in a collaborative forum, they bring the depth of their shared knowledge to the table. Such collaboration helps participants to reliably deliver the most efficient, effective and caring hospital experience for each and every patient, every single time.”

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Azle
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Azle has served Azle, Springtown, Lake Worth and greater northwest Tarrant and Parker Counties since 1954. The hospital’s services include cardiology, orthopedics, imaging and rehabilitation. Texas Health Azle is an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL or visit TexasHealth.org/Azle.

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