Patient Safety First…a California Partnership for Health

Brief Description

Patient Safety First…A California Partnership for Health, a statewide collaborative between California’s Regional Hospital Associations, Anthem Blue Cross, National Health Foundation and California hospitals, is moving the needle in improving quality and reducing costs across the state. Since the inception of the collaborative in 2010, Patient Safety First member hospitals have shown significant improvement in four important hospital based avoidable harms’ initiatives: sepsis mortality, ventilator associated pneumonia, central line blood stream infections, and perinatal gestational age deliveries under 39 weeks. In order to facilitate improvement within hospitals, Patient Safety First adopted components of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Breakthrough Series Collaborative Model for Achieving Breakthrough Improvement developed in 1995. This model is a validated learning system that brings together a large number of teams from hospitals or clinics to seek improvement in a focused topic area. Peer to peer learning occurs through multidisciplinary hospital teams, peer to peer networking and expert speakers. Hospital teams use the knowledge gained through Patient Safety First programs to implement best practices in their hospitals. With continued funding from Anthem Blue Cross, in 2013, Patient Safety First entered Phase 2 with new initiatives and goals including reducing rates of Cesarean Sections and eliminating retained surgical sponges.

Measured or Anticipated Outcomes
From 2010-2012, participating hospitals achieved:
  • 74% reduction in early elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks gestational age
  • 57% reduction in cases of Ventilator Associated Pneumonia
  • 43% reduction in cases of Central Line Blood Stream Infections
  • 26% reduction in Sepsis Mortality
Anticipated outcomes include:
  • Further reductions in early elective deliveries and Sepsis
  • A 23.9% or lower rate for Low-risk First-birth (NTSV) Cesarean Births
  • A 0% rate of retained surgical sponges

Policy Implications
  • Demonstrate a successful peer-to-peer learning model for sharing best practices and strategies to improve quality of hospital care and decrease the risk and cases of inadvertent harm to patients.
  • Promote compliance with Joint Commission, AHRQ, and CMS standards of care.

Funding for this program was generously provided by Anthem Blue Cross.

Key Partners
Hospital Association of Southern California, Hospital Council of Northern and Central California, Hospital Association of San Diego & Imperial Counties and Anthem Blue Cross.

For more information please contact Mia Arias, Director of Programs at