FHA: Harm Reduced In Florida Hospitals

Dec 22, 2015

Florida hospitals are doing less harm than they used to. 

According to a report out from the Florida Hospital Association, a two-year project across the state prevented more than 27,000 mistakes and injuries to patients. 

But there’s still room for improvement.

The FHA worked with member hospitals to get better at preventing things like bed sores, and hospital infections and non-emergency early births.

Hospitals are required to report these quality measures. And there can be fines and other penalties if they don’t do well.

The initiative got Florida hospitals talking to each other about what causes these problems, and the best ways to fix them.

Sally Forsberg, FHA director of quality and patient safety, said the discussions challenged some commonly held beliefs. For example, a lot of the people who fall and get injured in hospitals are not elderly. 

“Sometimes it has more to do with the patient not wanting to ask for help and not always calling for help when needed," Forsberg said. "And sometimes you’re surprised by what you find in the data.” 

By doing simple things like accompanying patients to the bathroom when they wake up in the morning for blood tests, FHA estimates the hospitals prevented a thousand injuries. 

The toughest problem to fix, Forsberg said, is readmission rates. 

That’s something FHA will try to tackle with the next version of this project.