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Independence Blue Cross and Partnership for Patient Care celebrate 10 Years of Patient Safety

Health care leaders attend Summit to celebrate milestones and launch new prostate cancer initiative

Independence Blue Cross (Independence), the Health Care Improvement Foundation, a nonprofit health and safety organization, and health care leaders across the region met at an Annual Summit to celebrate the 10 year anniversary and key successes of the Partnership for Patient Care (PPC) a quality and patient safety collaborative led by southeastern Pennsylvania hospitals, with support from both organizations.

“The quality of patient care and safety in our region can’t be improved by working in silos, which is why cooperative efforts like the Partnership for Patient Care are so important,” said Kate Flynn, president of the Health Care Improvement Foundation. “We’ve had great success with our projects over the past decade, thanks to the support we receive from organizations like Independence Blue Cross, and are very much looking forward to growing and continuing our collaboration.”

The PPC has been recognized as a national model thanks to a number of important projects it has initiated over the years. Some of its major projects and accomplishments include:

  • implementing the Preventing Avoidable Episodes Project, an initiative focused on strategies to improve care transitions and reduce preventable hospital readmissions. Participating hospitals demonstrated an aggregate 7 percent reduction in 30-day same hospital readmission rates, which represented more than 400 patients who avoided re-hospitalizations and more than $3.8 million in savings.
  • reducing central line associated blood stream infections from 2008 to 2012 by 57.5 percent;
  • improving the safety of CT imaging by reducing exposure to unnecessary radiation;
  • offering hospitals recommended interventions aimed at addressing vulnerabilities and potential failures associated with wrong-site surgery. After 18 months, the occurrence of wrong-site surgeries at participating hospitals dropped 73 percent;
  • conducting a regional campaign called CARE 4 Us, aimed at increasing awareness of palliative care, identifying the standards to create high-quality, effective palliative care programs, and supporting the region’s hospitals to become leaders in the palliative care movement. CARE 4 Us helped seven hospitals either initiate palliative care services or obtain Joint Commission palliative care certification.

To read more about the PPC’s accomplishments, visit the 10 year anniversary report.

“High-quality patient care relies not only on an institution’s capacity to perform successful treatment, but on its ability to keep patients safe throughout their continuum of care,” said Dr. Richard Snyder, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Independence Blue Cross. “The Partnership for Patient Care has offered our area hospitals the resources and tools they need to do both of these things successfully. We commend the Partnership for its dedication and remain committed to offering our support.”

At the meeting, PPC leadership also introduced a new initiative focused on prostate cancer called the Pennsylvania Urology Regional Collaborative (PURC).The PURC will bring together major urology practices from the five-county southeastern Pennsylvania region in a multi-year data-sharing and improvement collaborative aimed at advancing the quality of initial diagnosis and subsequent treatment of men with prostate cancer. There are nearly 200,000 new cases of prostate cancer in the U.S. each year. It the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men, who have a 1 in 7 risk of developing the disease in their lifetimes.

Participating in the new collaborative are urology practices affiliated with Temple University Hospital, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Einstein Healthcare Network, Penn Medicine, and Urology Health Specialists. The PURC will benchmark and identify best practices, which will be shared with participating doctors and hospitals in the region.

About The Health Care Improvement Foundation
The Health Care Improvement Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization that leads healthcare initiatives aimed at improving the safety, outcomes, and care experiences of all patients, residents, and consumers across Pennsylvania. The organization is dedicated to the vision that, through an engaged, collaborative community, the region benefits from a high-performing healthcare delivery system demonstrating enhanced measures of safety, quality, and effectiveness.

About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is the leading health insurance organization in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we serve nearly 10 million people in 25 states and the District of Columbia, including 2.5 million in the region. For more than 75 years, we have been enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more visit Connect with us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

About the Partnership for Patient Care
The Partnership for Patient care is a collaborative dedicated to the advancement of patient care by accelerating the adoption of evidence-based clinical practices. Funded by Independence Blue Cross and the region’s health systems, the partnership achieves its goals by pooling the resources, knowledge, and efforts of local healthcare providers.

Media contacts
Ruth Stoolman
Independence Blue Cross
215-241-4807 (office)
215-280-3335 (cell)