Wisconsin Hospitals: Leading the Way toward safer patient care

Contact: Shannon Nelson, 608-274-1820

MADISON (March 8, 2018) —- Wisconsin’s hospitals have been ranked among the best in the country for safe and satisfying health care, according to a new report released today by the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA).

“The delivery of effective, high-quality patient care creates healthy communities where people want to live and work,” according to WHA’s Chief Quality Officer Beth Dibbert. “There is always more work to do, and knowing that our hospitals have a positive effect on people’s lives gives us the encouragement to do even better.”

The report cites Wisconsin hospital rates of hospital-acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), central line, and Clostridium difficile infections dropped in 2017, and are now below the national rates, referencing WHA’s CheckPoint website.

Improving physical health is only part of the success story. Patient satisfaction with their hospital experience and staff also indicates that patients are actively engaged and participating in discharge instructions and communication with their providers. Wisconsin is better than the national average in overall patient satisfaction and whether the patient would recommend the hospital to others. The report details how hospitals are improving patient and family engagement through the increased use of the patient voice and perspective in strategies like shift change huddles and patient advisors on governing boards. The report includes examples of how Wisconsin hospitals have improved their patient-centered approach to positively affect health outcomes.

In 2017, Wisconsin received the #1 ranking by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and has consistently ranked among the top five states since 2010. Also in 2017, Wisconsin’s critical access hospitals were ranked #1 in their peer group by the Health Resources and Services Administration for quality reporting and levels of improvement.

The report describes the link between high-quality health care and an economic advantage for Wisconsin. In late 2017, WHA held a legislative briefing at the state capitol, along with representatives from the Aurora, Ascension, and Bellin health systems. Each of the system leaders described innovative programs that improved patient outcomes, reduced costs, and improved access across care settings.

Governor Scott Walker, during a visit to the February 2018 WHA Board of Directors meeting stated, “Wisconsin is a national leader in health care quality in large part because of the work of the Wisconsin Hospital Association.”

“WHA is pleased to support the outstanding work of our member hospitals, and our strong presence in the nation is further evidence of a commitment to transparency and improvement,” according to WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding. “This work is far from over, but we are renewed in our shared mission to deliver the right care to each patient, each time.”

Visit WHA’s WICheckpoint.org site to see the rates for individual hospitals on many quality-related measures.