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Getting Ahead of the Curve in Meeting the Quality Imperative: Support the Partnership for Patients
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The Partnership for Patients (PfP) is a public-private partnership authorized under section 3021 of the Affordable Care Act that offers support to nurses, physicians and other clinicians on teams working in and out of hospitals to make patient care safer and to support effective transitions of patients from hospitals to other settings. The PfP is part of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). The partners in the PfP are working through safety initiatives to improve the quality and affordability of health care for all Americans. The PfP engages patients and their advocates, health care provider groups (e.g., American Nurses Association [ANA]) and specialty societies (e.g., Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society™ [WOCN®]) and other broad stakeholder groups such as payers, purchasers, federal and State governments together to form the Partnership for Patients. The PfP and its more than 3,700 participating hospitals are focused on making hospital care safer, more reliable, and less costly through the achievement of two goals:

  1. Making care safer by the end of 2013 by reducing preventable hospital-acquired conditions (HAC) such as hospital acquired pressure ulcers (HAPU) and catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) by 40% compared to 2010, and
  2. Improving Care Transitions by the end of 2013 by reducing preventable complications during transition from one care setting to another so that all hospital readmissions would be reduced by 20% compared to 2010. Wound, ostomy, and continence (WOC) nurses are a key resource for hospitals to advance progress towards meeting these PfP goals.

The PfP Hospital Engagement Networks (HENs) includes more than 80% (>3,700) of the nation's hospitals across the country working to achieve the PfP goals. They are critical partners in this work. Through the PfP, 26 State, regional, national and hospital system organizations serve as HENs. These organizations identify solutions that are effective to reduce hospital-acquired conditions and avoidable readmissions, and work together to spread them to other hospitals and health care providers. The PfP uses team-based nursing sensitive quality measures or indicators as national comparison data for the HENs as progress towards the goals are monitored.For example, the ANA's National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI®) is providing data directly to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) using team-based, nursing sensitive measures. You can access information about these measures at the NDNQI web link: The NDNQI tutorial on pressure ulcer staging and prevention has been updated, is free for all users, and can be accessed at:

Progress is being made on reduction of HAPU and CAUTI and other HACs. You can view a list of the HENs and learn more about the HENs at the following link: You can even identify if your hospital is participating in a HEN by using the interactive map at this link:

The WOC nurse has been identified as a key resource for hospitals in the prevention of HAPU and CAUTI. Moreover, the WOC nurse helps to ensure improved transitional care for populations requiring wound, ostomy, or continence care or prevention for identified risk to prevent pressure ulcers or CAUTI post hospitalization via multiple roles. Many WOC nurses have participated in HEN presentations and webinars and NDNQI poster and session presentations regarding effective use of nursing-sensitive, unit-level data. They have showcased their leadership in empowering teams to use best practices and scale up or spread strategies to reduce HACs and avoidable readmissions. For example, WOC nurses have shared which roles they fill and how they can best empower front line team members (e.g., educating and coaching skin care resource team members to reduce unit-level HAPU and CAUTI rates). They have also shared effective practice to address complex patient care problems such as managing moisture associated skin damage (MASD) in advance illness care, or populations with multiple chronic conditions. The WOCN leadership, President Kate Lawrence, MSN, RN, CWOCN and Executive Director, Nicolette F. Zuecca, MPA, CAE, and ANA's senior policy fellow, Maureen Dailey, DNSc, RN, CWOCN are working with the Deputy Director of the PfP, Jack Jordan, MS to identify additional opportunities for the WOCN Society and WOC nurses to contribute towards achievement of the PfP goals.

The WOCN Society has added a PfP link: on the main Web page to assist you in linking to the PfP, including the HEN links above, and to keep updated as to the progress being made and new resources available. Please share your successes in reducing HAPU, CAUTI, and avoidable readmissions as well as team-based development strategies that contribute to reduction of all harm. The WOCN Society has provided a list of WOCN resources and other key resources which will be shared with the HENs on their resource sites. It's important that WOC nurses be PfP ambassadors to spread the work about the PfP work and engage nurses and other clinicians on teams to contribute to meeting the PfP's goals. The collaborative work between ANA and the WOCN Society to support the PfP will be entered in the PfP Action Safety Registry, a listing of partners' actions to improve patient safety and reduce excessive cost.

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