Hospital Disparity Efforts to be Highlighted

August 6, 2014

African American patients may have a higher rate of hospital-acquired conditions than white patients, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Although the data is preliminary and not adjusted for factors such as age and chronic diseases, it speaks to the reality that there is a disparity in health care across cultural, racial, and socioeconomic lines in our country.

One focus of the Partnership for Patients initiative in 2014 is to work towards patient safety equity. CMS is looking for examples of hospitals or clinics actively engaged in addressing disparities in health care. We would like to hear about any disparity programs or activities at your organization – for example bilingual patient education programs or community resources in lower income communities. Your story could be featured in an upcoming CMS report or publication. Please contact Rebecca Snyders, (206) 577-1803 or

Medicaid Quality Incentive – Important Updates
The Health Care Authority (HCA) has made several important changes to the Medicaid Quality Incentive (MQI) Reducing Readmissions Bundle. The changes were based on valuable feedback from hospitals. These changes will affect how hospitals are evaluated for this measure. The changes include a new start date for the performance period for the readmissions bundle, changed from July 1 to August 1. This change gives organizations a ramp-up period with the new measure. Also, patient discharge information to the primary care provider and a documented, follow-up phone call to the patient must be made within three business days of discharge. Additional changes, as well as complete information on this year’s incentive, are available on the WSHA MQI Web page. Members may also contact Amber Theel at (206) 577-1820 or

Join the War on Bugs: New Initiative Aims to Ensure Appropriate Antibiotic Use  

The Washington State Hospital Association and the Washington State Pharmacy Association are pleased to have national expert Arjun Srinivasan, MD, (CAPT, USPHS) Associate Director for Healthcare Associated Infection Prevention Programs for the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention join us for the kick-off of Washington’s Statewide Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative.

When: Friday, September 5, 2014
9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Adverse Drug Event and Antimicrobial Stewardship Safe Table
Where: Double Tree Hotel, 18740 International Blvd, SeaTac WA.
To register or for more information click here.

“The end of antibiotics, no longer a question” says Arjun Srinivasan, MD, (CAPT, USPHS) Associate Director for Healthcare Associated Infection Prevention Programs for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We are quickly running out of therapies to treat some infections that previously had been eminently treatable.”

Antibiotics revolutionized the practice of medicine by providing a rapid cure to many illnesses that were once fatal. But those days may soon be gone. Overuse and misuse of antibiotics has fueled the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. There are now some bacteria that are resistant to nearly all — or, in some cases, all — available antibiotics.

Pharmacists and physicians have a key role in Antimicrobial Stewardship (ASP) – using the right antibiotic at the right time and only when necessary. You’re invited to join a new collaborative effort to take on this challenging and important work. The Statewide Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative is convened by the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA), the Washington State Pharmacy Association (WSPA) and the Antimicrobial Stewardship Consortium of Washington (ASCOW). The initiative will kick-off at the September 5 WSHA Adverse Drug Event and Antimicrobial Stewardship Safe Table. Those joining the collaborative will meet monthly to develop new strategies and best practices to improve Antimicrobial Stewardship in our state.

Interested in joining the ASP Collaboration and sharing best practices? Contact Amber Theel at or 206-577-1820.

Qualis Health Awarded CMS Contract for Quality Improvement Program

Congratulations! Qualis Health is the recipient of a new five year contract from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as part of a restructuring the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program.

The new contracts represent the second phase of QIO restructuring, the goal of which is to create a new approach to improve care for beneficiaries, families, and caregivers. The awardees will work with providers and communities across the country on data-driven quality initiatives. These QIOs will be known as Quality Innovation Network (QIN)-QIOs and will be based in communities, health care facilities, and clinical practices.

Washington has had a long history with Qualis Health and their staff. We are pleased that they will continue to serve in our region. To read the press release from CMS in its entirety, click here. (Carol Wagner,

Joint Commission Issues Event Alert on Vial Misuse

The Joint Commission issued a Sentinel Event Alert this week, “Preventing infection from the misuse of vials,” describing factors that contribute to the misuse of vials and recommended strategies for improvement. Patients exposed to vial misuse have become infected with the hepatitis B or C virus, meningitis, and other types of infections. Reusing single dose vials and using the same syringe for multiple-dose vials are the common culprit. For more information about sentinel events, visit The Joint Commission website.  (Rebecca Snyders,

Handwashing: It’s for Patients Too

A recent article in Infection Control Today emphasizes that patients should be an important part of any hand hygiene campaign. “No longer considered an abstract philosophy, patient engagement and its importance for hand hygiene has been defined. Implementation strategies are being perfected. Many of these strategies have focused on patients’ monitoring of health care workers’ behaviors alone. But the hands of patients themselves are prominent links in the HAI transmission chain that can’t be ignored.” The article, which cites several studies of patient handwashing behavior in and out of the hospital, can be found here.
(Rebecca Snyders,



Contact Us

Washington State Hospital Association
999 Third Avenue
Suite 1400
Seattle, WA 98104

Map / Directions

206.281.7211 phone
206.283.6122 fax

Staff List