Call for Entries Now Open for 2019’s Safety & Quality Award Program!

June 5, 2019

The Health Care Improvement Foundation (HCIF) has hosted the Delaware Valley Patient Safety and Quality Award for the past seventeen years. This program is one of many ways in which HCIF promotes best practices in health care patient safety and quality throughout the region. The award recognizes hospitals and other providers for their innovative contributions in advancing patient care. At this time, we are inviting healthcare organizations—whether freestanding or within a multi-entity system—to submit up to 4 entries for projects undertaken at their site alone. A healthcare system may in addition submit up to 4 entries for system-wide projects that span multiple sites. Entries must be submitted online by Friday, July 12, 2019Please Click Here for further details and the criteria for submission.

If you have any questions about this year’s award process, please feel free to contact Liz Owens, HCIF’s Project Coordinator, at 215.575.3738 or

Pennsylvania Health Care Quality Alliance’s State of the State Reports

The Pennsylvania Health Care Quality Alliance, a former initiative of HCIF, annually released a report called the Pennsylvania State of the State.   The report analyzes multi-year performance trends on hospital quality metrics, such as readmission, mortality, and HCAHPS patient experience measures.  To view the two most recent reports from 2017 and 2018, click the links below.

2018 Pennsylvania State of the State

2017 Pennsylvania State of the State

After 11 Years, PHCQA Closes on April 30th

April 15, 2019

Since 2008, the Pennsylvania Health Care Quality Alliance (PHCQA) has published health care quality performance data for all Pennsylvania hospitals on its website,  PHCQA was at the forefront of publicly reporting transparent, objective quality of care information.  Through the guidance of the Measures and Methods Committee, composed of experts in quality measurement from a variety of Pennsylvania health care stakeholders, PHCQA developed a trusted measure set that was incorporated into several value-based insurance reimbursement programs.  PHCQA’s user-friendly, interactive search and reporting functions offered consumers, providers, and payers the ability to compare quality of care among Pennsylvania hospitals.  PHCQA became an operating division of HCIF in 2015.

In recent years, multiple public and private sources of hospital quality information have emerged.  As a result, on April 30, 2019, the PHCQA website will close.  Users should download any needed data files or reports, as no archived data will be maintained or accessible after that date.  If you are seeking similar information on the quality of Pennsylvania’s hospitals, please visit the websites of CMS Hospital Compare, the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, or the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.

The Health Care Improvement Foundation would like to thank all those who served on the Measures and Methods Committee; Ancilla Partners, who built and maintained the website; and PHCQA’s longstanding funders, including Independence Blue Cross, Capital Blue Cross, Geisinger, and UPMC.

PURC’s February Executive Meeting Update: New Focus on Opioid Stewardship

February 18, 2019

On February 7th, the PURC Executive Team – prostate cancer clinical experts, data abstractors, patient advocates and practice administrators – convened at Independence Live in Philadelphia to discuss the current progress and future directions of the collaborative. PURC is a prostate cancer quality improvement initiative that brings urology practices together in a physician-led, data-sharing and improvement collaborative. Headlining the meeting was an update from the newly established Opioid Working Group, which focuses on improving opioid stewardship for prostatectomy patients. Dr. Daniel Lee and Dr. Ruchika Talwar from Penn Urology shared promising early results from their new initiative to reduce excess narcotic use in prostatectomy and nephrectomy surgery discharges. In order to do so, Penn urologists have implemented a pain management pathway that initially emphasizes prescribing alternative pain medications with escalation protocols to opioids if pain cannot be controlled. The Opioid Working Group hopes to pilot this pathway at additional PURC practices. In the meantime, the Opioid Working Group is developing variables and measures to understand opioid prescribing patterns across PURC practices.

Dr. Serge Ginzburg, PURC physician champion from Einstein Healthcare Network, shared his technique to perform a transperineal prostate biopsy, which research suggests significantly reduces the chance of infections regardless of whether or not an antibiotic is prescribed prior to the biopsy. The Biopsy Working Group will continue to monitor infection rates associated with this technique.

PURC is pleased to announce that over 10,000 patients have now been entered into its data registry. As the dataset grows, PURC improves its position for research, grants, and clinical trials.



Improving Patient Safety through the Leapfrog Survey and Regional Collaboration

November 30, 2018

On November 13, HCIF and Capital BlueCross hosted the third annual half-day conference entitled, “Improving Patient Safety through the Leapfrog Survey and Regional Collaboration.”  The conference gathered quality and safety leaders from hospitals across Central Pennsylvania to learn about innovative approaches to central line-associated blood stream infection (CLABSI) prevention and management of risks and hazards.  These topics had been identified as opportunities for improvement and shared learning by analyzing Leapfrog Hospital Survey scorecard results.  The conference highlighted how local hospitals are leveraging their Leapfrog Survey results to drive quality improvement.

Featured speakers included Maureen Ann Frye, Director of the Center for Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality at Abington Jefferson Health and Dr. Valeria Fabre, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins.  Ms. Frye presented on how hospitals can identify and mitigate risks and hazards through a framework of awareness, accountability, ability, and action.  By sharing tools and strategies employed at Abington Jefferson Health, Ms. Frye also focused on how to integrate the assessment of risks and hazards with a high reliability strategy.  Dr. Fabre’s presentation described strategies implemented at Johns Hopkins intended to achieve their goal of zero CLABSI.  Dr. Fabre also showcased Johns Hopkins’ innovative approach to reduce unnecessary blood cultures.  Reaction panels comprising of representatives from local, high-performing hospitals who shared additional quality improvement strategies followed both presentations.

HCIF and Capital BlueCross will next host a webinar in the spring to present analyses of 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Survey scorecard data.