The Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) and the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS) have established the Northwest Safety and Quality Partnership. The new partnership combines health care quality and safety initiatives from both associations to serve all 169 hospitals and health systems in Washington state and Oregon, making health care safer for patients and caregivers in both states.

The partnership’s work will target 21 specific initiatives, including:

  • Reducing opioid use and dependence
  • Reducing avoidable hospital readmissions
  • Improving patient and family engagement
  • Fostering appropriate use of antibiotics
  • Reducing infections, including sepsis and surgical site infections
  • Increasing use of advance care planning, which works to ensure health care wishes are honored near the end of life (through Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest — a program operated by WSHA and the Washington State Medical Association)

The partnership will offer educational resources to hospitals and health systems in both states and facilitate collaboration to spread best practices for patients. Together, Washington state and Oregon hospitals care for patients during more than 900,000 inpatient hospital stays and nearly 26 million outpatient visits each year.

In the last two years, WSHA’s patient safety initiatives have saved millions in health care spending and averted thousands of adverse events. This includes averted of cases of sepsis, septic shock, Clostridium difficile, catheter-associated urinary tract infections and central-line associated blood stream infections.

“This nationally unique program pools the resources of the two state associations, allowing us to make a greater impact than would be possible otherwise as we work toward the common goal of improving the safety and quality of health care,” WSHA CEO Cassie Sauer said. “This partnership will allow our hospitals and health systems to collaborate across state lines and work to solve some of health care’s most pressing challenges. By learning from one another, we can improve health care throughout our entire region.”

“We are thrilled to be launching this critically important partnership, which will greatly increase the resources, tools and programming for Oregon’s hospitals to continue their work on safety and improved outcomes for our patients,” OAHHS President and CEO Andy Davidson said. “In a region where cooperation and partnership are core values, teaming up with WSHA’s award-winning program was a natural move. We look forward to great results — saving lives and reducing unnecessary harm — and sharing in the learning process along the way.”

A patient safety and quality committee consisting of hospital and health care leaders from both states will oversee the partnership’s work.

For more information, visit  www.wsha.org and www.oahhs.org.