Protecting our own patients – and patients across Michigan – through Keystone

As our Health System works to become the safest in the country, we’re also helping other hospitals and providers across Michigan improve the safety and quality of the care they give.

A new report issued this week by the Michigan Health & Hospital Association’s Keystone Center shows the results of several statewide safety efforts that our experts lead, and others that we take part in.

By sharing data and best practices, these multi-hospital efforts work to reduce preventable problems, and increase use of preventive measures, in hospitals of all kinds across the state.

Leading the way

UMHS participates in leadership of the MHA Keystone: Intensive Care Unit effort, which works to reduce infections among ICU patients – specifically, central-line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). As the chart clearly shows, these infections have gone down every year of the effort.

UMHS also leads the Keystone Center’s statewide Emergency Room initiative. The new report shows that this effort reduced the rate of patients who left participating emergency departments without being seen by 18.5 percent from May 2010 to March 2012.

UMHS experts have also worked with the MHA/Keystone Center on efforts to reduce catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) and venous thromboembolisms – efforts that now form the underpinnings for state and national efforts.

Improving our own care

As a health system, we take part in nearly all of Keystone’s safety efforts, reporting data and implementing new best practices. These include:

MHA Keystone: ER – to improve emergency care

MHA Keystone: Gift of Life — to improve organ donation processes

MHA Keystone: Hospital-Associated Infection — to reduce infections such as CLABSI and CAUTI among all hospitalized patients

MHA Keystone: ICU – – to reduced CLABSI and VAP in ICUs

MHA Keystone: Surgery — to reduce surgical site infections, wrong-site surgery, and other surgery-related issues

MHA Keystone: Safe Care – – to reduce venous thromboembolism in all hospitalized patients

MI STA*AR — to reduce rehospitalizations

The MHA Patient Safety Organization – to collect serious reportable events from hospitals that voluntarily submit them, and implement safety improvements

• The MHA Keystone Hospital Engagement Network— to identify, share and implement best practices aimed at reducing preventable hospital-acquired conditions

Several UMHS leaders take part in the MHA and Keystone Center’s activities at a higher level. U-M Hospitals & Health Centers CEO Doug Strong was chair of the MHA Board for 2011-2012. Robert Hyzy, M.D., associate professor of internal medicine, serves on the MHA Keystone Center board. Chief Risk Officer Rick Boothman, J.D., sits on the MHA Patient Safety Organization board.

Says Strong, “We are proud of our leadership role in Keystone as well as other quality collaboratives in Michigan. We are helping to improve the health of the citizens of the state well beyond the care that we ourselves provide.”

Maureen Thompson, MSN, RN, who heads patient safety in the Office of Clinical Affairs, says, “Our engagement with all of the MHA Keystone collaboratives has been fruitful, for both UMHHC and MHA.” She notes that soon, we’ll be marking the 10-year anniversary of the MHA Keystone ICU collaborative, the collaborative with the greatest number of professional publications, publicity, and effect on public policy.

Information for patients:

Keystone also helps patients get easy-to-understand information about Michigan hospitals. Anyone can visit to see for themselves how UMHS and other hospitals rate on a number of measures of quality of care and cost of certain procedures.

This complements the UMHS website where we offer data on our care and our patients’ opinions of our care, at

The full 2012 Keystone Patient Safety and Quality Annual Report is available here.