The IHS and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are partnering to “strengthen the quality of care delivered in IHS-operated hospitals.” IHS hospitals will receive assistance from a CMS-supported Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) whose purpose is to help health care facilities deliver better care and spend more efficiently. The effort includes IHS hospitals in the Great Plains Area.
The HENs focus on reducing preventable patient harm, such as hospital-acquired infections and avoidable readmissions. They help identify proven solutions and then share them among hospitals. The HENs also track and monitor hospital progress in meeting quality improvement goals. The IHS will be able to access technical assistance and support, for example, from quality improvement experts.
This is not the first time the 2 organizations have joined forces. The new partnership actually dates from 2013, when some parts of IHS participated in a “first-round” HEN. “Quality improvement is a continuous effort at IHS hospitals—as it is at all health care facilities,” says Mary Smith, IHS principal deputy director. “Working with a Hospital Engagement Network brings more resources and underscores our commitment to focus on delivering efficient and high-quality care for our patients.”