Patient Safety Organization

Sponsored by the Connecticut Healthcare Research and Education Foundation (CHREF)

The CHREF Patient Safety Organization (PSO) assists hospitals in improving the quality of care and patient safety through collaboration and data sharing.  It is one of only three patient safety organizations designated by the Connecticut Department of Public Health. Membership in the PSO, offered at a fee, is open to all entities that are required by Connecticut law to seek to work with a PSO.

Through CHA, hospitals work collaboratively to share, learn, and apply nationally recognized, evidenced-based practices to achieve the highest standards of quality and safety.

CHA’s tenth annual Patient Safety Summit in March 2012 marked the official start of Connecticut hospitals working collaboratively on an ambitious statewide initiative to eliminate all cause preventable harm using high reliability science to create a culture of safety.

Connecticut is the first state to conduct a statewide high reliability collaborative.

Key Objectives Include:

  • Understanding core concepts about human error and event prevention in complex systems.
  • Identifying what leaders can do to demonstrate safety as a core value.
  • Understanding a behavior-based approach for improving and sustaining performance.
  • Understanding success factors for building and sustaining a high reliability performance culture.
  • Self-assessing organizational readiness.

Nearly 200 hospital leaders participated in an intense High Reliability Boot Camp in April and June 2012 – a two-day rigorous introduction to concepts, means, and methods of reliability culture improvement that has provided a foundation for further work.

Integrated with this groundbreaking statewide effort is CHA’s work with the American Hospital Association’s Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) on Partnership for Patients, a national CMS initiative designed to reduce preventable inpatient harm by 40 percent and readmissions by 20 percent. All CHA acute care hospitals are participating in Partnership for Patients. Forty-three champions of quality from 26 Connecticut hospitals (the highest per capita representation in the country) are participating in HRET’s national Improvement Leader Fellowship Program, an intense, multisession performance improvement fellowship initiative. The frontline improvement leaders who complete the program will engage their hospitals in spreading sustainable improvement strategies.Donald M. Berwick, MD, Former Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Through CHA’s Patient Safety Organization, several other ongoing clinical collaboratives unite hospitals around key safety objectives, including reducing preventable heart failure readmissions and infection prevention. Recently, hospital teams and community care partners have participated in the Heart Failure Readmissions Collaborative, a partnership between CHA’s Patient Safety Organization and Qualidigm.

Participants have engaged in more than three dozen learning sessions and webinars, sharing best practices to reduce preventable hospital readmissions – based on the model and strategies developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, with three-quarters of participants reducing their 30-day readmission rates.

Connecticut hospitals’ readmission work is now being broadened to include all-cause readmissions.

The On the CUSP: Stop CAUTI program began with nine hospitals in November 2011. Teams are now in the implementation phase of the project. This national patient safety program is aimed at reducing catheter associated urinary tract infections and implementing the comprehensive unit-based safety program (CUSP).

Additionally, 14 hospitals are engaged in the Stop BSI project and have achieved a reduction in their central line-associated blood stream infection (CLABSI) rates to an overall statewide rate of 1.1/1000 central line days.

Also, 28 Connecticut hospitals recently participated in the national HCAHPS Patient Safety Learning Network to improve quality, patient safety, and patient experience. This national program currently involves 19 states.

For more information, please contact Alison Hong, MD, Director, Quality and Patient Safety, at (203) 294-7266 or at

CHA Patient Safety Summit - 2012