Patient Safety Update

IHA Appoints New Leadership for Indiana Patient Safety Center

IHA recently conducted a search for the director of the Indiana Patient Safety Center (IPSC) position. During the search, two of the IPSC staff, Carolyn Konfirst and Karin Kennedy, provided interim leadership, and their performance led to the recent promotions to IHA’s leadership team. IHA is pleased to announce that Carolyn Konfirst and Karin Kennedy will share leadership of the Indiana Patient Safety Center.

“The leadership that Carolyn and Karin provided allowed IHA to restructure the Indiana Patient Safety Center leadership, and I am confident that they will be successful as they lead Indiana’s charge in improving hospital quality and patient safety,” said Doug Leonard, president of IHA.

Carolyn has been promoted to clinical director and Karin has been promoted to administrative director. They will work as a team, reporting to the president, each providing their expertise to better serve the IHA membership.

Both Karin and Carolyn joined IHA in 2012 as patient safety and quality advisors to implement Indiana’s Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) in support of the Partnership for Patients, a national initiative focused on reducing specific hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and preventable readmissions by 20 percent. Throughout their HEN work, they visited nearly every acute care hospital and numerous skilled nursing facilities in Indiana to review data and collaborate on strategies for implementing evidence-based practices shown to reduce the likelihood of patient harm and preventable readmissions. In addition, Karin and Carolyn actively supported Indiana’s regional patient safety coalitions to promote long term sustainability, collaboration and shared work in harm and readmission reduction as well as in patient and family engagement, leadership and patient safety culture.

Carolyn brings more than 25 years of health care experience, and prior to IHA, she served in nursing leadership positions at hospitals, ranging from 40 beds to more than 800 beds, including 10 years as vice president of patient care and services/CNO at Hancock Regional Hospital in Greenfield, where she was responsible for quality/safety, risk management and utilization review, as well as for nursing and ancillary service departments.

Carolyn-Konfirst_p“I have been privileged to work with outstanding health care professionals around the state and am in awe of their steadfast commitment to eliminating patient harm and to improving both health and health care quality for their communities. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as the clinical director of the Indiana Patient Safety Center and to support our eleven regional patient safety coalitions in building upon the foundation of collaboration for patient safety to truly make a difference in the lives and health of Hoosiers.”

– Carolyn Konfirst, Clinical Director

Karin has more than 20 years of health care experience in marketing, communications and quality improvement. Prior to IHA, she served as vice president, client services at Health Care Excel where she oversaw the quality improvement and utilization operations for private sector and government clients.

Karin-Kennedy_p“It is a privilege to serve as the administrative director of the Indiana Patient Safety Center,” said Karin. “I am excited and honored to continue to collaborate with Indiana hospitals and support their efforts to improve quality and reduce harm.” 

– Karin Kennedy, Administrative Director


Hospital Engagement Network Likely to be Re-Instated Another Year

Over the last three years, 115 Indiana facilities partnered with IHA in the Partnership for Patients campaign that officially ended December of 2014. The national project showed preliminary progress in meeting its goals of reducing hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions. In a report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), an estimated 50,000 fewer patients died in hospitals as a result of the campaign efforts.

Indiana joined with 30 states to work with the American Hospital Association’s Health Research & Educational Trust (AHA/HRET) Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) to focus on sharing and implementing best evidence-based practices, analyzing data to drive improvement efforts and engaging patients and their families as active participants in promoting safety in hospitals. Indiana made great strides preventing 4,690 harms, saving the state $22,340,000.

The excitement and energy around the Partnership for Patients continues. On Feb. 11, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted a request for proposals for the HENs to continue the progress made inpatient safety. IHA plans to continue working with AHA/HRET in this additional year of funding. The scope of work is similar: reducing specific hospital-acquired harms, such as falls and infections, as well as preventable readmissions. Improvement on several additional topics will also be supported through the program. The work of “HEN 2.0” will provide hospitals with continued support for implementing processes that will drive improvement and further sustainability of harm reduction.


Patient Safety Awareness Week: United in Safety

PSAW2015_logoPatient Safety Awareness Week was March 8 – 14. This annual education and aware- ness campaign for health care safety is led by the National Patient Safety Foundation. The 2015 theme is United in Safety, which represents uniting toward a common goal to make a difference in patient safety. Find resources at the National Patient Safety Foundation or the Center for Patient Safety.