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Results Part of Anthem Blue Cross, National Health Foundation and Regional Hospital Associations 3 Year Partnership

(November 15, 2013) — West Anaheim Medical Center has teamed with hundreds of hospitals, the National Health Foundation and Anthem Blue Cross to improve patient safety to help save lives and avoid unnecessary medical costs.

Patient Safety First (PSF)… a California Partnership for Health avoided 3,576 deaths and more than $63 million in otherwise unnecessary hospital costs between 2009 and 2012.

“Anything that we can do to ensure the safest visit for patients to this, or any hospital, is of the utmost priority,” says Virg Narbutas, CEO of West Anaheim Medical Center. “It’s very rewarding to see that working in collaboration, we have had such a large impact on the health of our state.”

PSF is a statewide collaborative between the Hospital Council of Northern & Central California, the Hospital Association of Southern California, the Hospital Association of San Diego & Imperial Counties, Anthem Blue Cross, National Health Foundation and California hospitals. West Anaheim Medical Center participated as a member of the Hospital Association of Southern California.

The group’s mission is to improve quality and reduce health care costs across the state. Since the inception of the collaborative in 2010, PSF member hospitals have shown significant improvement in four important hospital-based avoidable harm initiatives: sepsis mortality, ventilator associated pneumonia, central line blood stream infections and perinatal gestational age deliveries under 39 weeks. More specifically, approximately 40 hospitals consistently reported before and after data, and their results show:

  • A 74% reduction in early elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks gestational age
  • A 57% reduction in cases of Ventilator Associated Pneumonia
  • A 43% reduction in cases of Central Line Blood Stream Infections
  • A 26% reduction in Sepsis Mortality

“We have a responsibility to work with doctors, hospitals and other parts of the health care delivery system to ensure that patients aren’t getting sick while receiving treatment,” said Pam Kehaly, president of Anthem Blue Cross. “Through the Patient Safety First initiative, we’ve worked with our partners to share best practices and avoid more than 3,500 unnecessary deaths and $63 million in costs. This program will not only help hospital patients return home to enjoy another day with their families, but will also help moderate the rate at which health care costs are rising.”

The deaths and costs avoided were calculated by comparing all population data from 2012 to baseline data provided by the same hospitals in 2009.

“This three year Patient Safety First program demonstrates that when over 180 hospitals identify a problem, utilize a common database and work collaboratively to make hospitals safer, significant progress can be made,” said J. Eugene Grigsby, III, president/CEO of the National Health Foundation. “Particularly impressive is that these outcomes have been achieved in spite of the fact that participating hospitals are extremely diverse; large and small, not-for profit and for profit, sectarian and non-sectarian, independent or in systems and geographically dispersed throughout California.”

With more than 180 hospitals participants and 40 hospitals consistently reporting before and after data, PSF is the largest statewide collaborative effort focused on patient safety in the nation. Not only is Patient Safety First unique in its size and scale, but it is distinctive in that it brings together a health plan, hospital associations, a non-profit organization and private and public hospitals as partners in an effort to improve care, health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. The collaborative is open to both hospitals in and outside of Anthem’s network, and because the improvements are made at the hospital level, benefits are not exclusive to Anthem members.

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.

For a copy of the statewide report, please visit

West Anaheim Medical Center

West Anaheim Medical Center, recognized as a Top 100 Hospital in the Nation, is a medium size community hospital with a mission to provide comprehensive, quality healthcare in a compassionate, convenient and cost-effective manner. It was recently honored as a Top Performer in the nation (Top 14%) on Key Quality Measures by Joint Commission, a Medicare accreditation agency. The hospital has provided services to Anaheim and surrounding communities for over 45 years. The medical center is owned and operated by Prime Healthcare Services, a hospital management company based in Ontario, California. For more information, please visit and