Harborview Medical Center, a level I trauma center in Seattle, used AHRQ’s Toolkit for Using the AHRQ Quality Indicators as a cornerstone in efforts to improve patient safety. The hospital measured a 21 percent decrease in the rate of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism among postoperative patients in less than four years. Access the case study.
Seattle Hospital Improves Patient Safety with AHRQ Quality Indicators Toolkit
Harborview Medical Center, a level I trauma center in Seattle, used an AHRQ toolkit as a cornerstone in efforts to improve patient safety. The hospital measured a 21 percent decrease in the rate of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism (DVT/PE) among postoperative patients in under 4 years.
The hospital continues to use resources from the Toolkit for Using the AHRQ Quality Indicators to support added improvements, including a focus on patient safety measures aligned with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ patient safety programs.
AHRQ’s QI Toolkit is available to help hospitals use the AHRQ Quality Indicators to improve patient care. The toolkit provides how-to guidance throughout the improvement process, along with an array of resources that hospitals can adapt to meet their specific needs.
Ellen Robinson, a physical therapist and clinical quality specialist, led Harborview’s improvement initiative. She credits the resources from AHRQ’s QI Toolkit for helping Harborview improve its ability to:
- Assess leadership’s readiness to change
- Apply the AHRQ Quality Indicators to hospital data
- Prioritize clinical areas and measures for improvement
- Identify and implement evidence-based clinical strategies to improve care
Using the AHRQ QI Toolkit to reduce DVT/PEs helped Harborview achieve measurable results. The chart below shows the hospital’s DVT/PE reductions.
(in 3 years, 9 months)
|Rate of DVT/PE among postoperative patients||11.7/1,000||9.3/1,000||21% decrease|
|Rate of hospital-acquired DVT/PE||7.5/1,000||6.4/1,000||15% decrease|
Harborview leaders found that using the QI Toolkit achieved broader impacts as well; it raised awareness about patient safety concerns across the hospital, improved collaboration to support patient safety, and institutionalized a standard set of patient safety protocols. Harborview is also using QI Toolkit resources to reduce:
- Pressure ulcers
- Central venous catheter-related blood stream infections
- Postoperative respiratory failures
- Postoperative sepsis
- Accidental punctures or lacerations
"We no longer have any trouble convincing people to participate in improvement efforts," Ms. Robinson noted. "The QI Toolkit helped shift the hospital culture to a greater appreciation for improvement."
Impact Case Study Identifier:
AHRQ Product(s): CAUTI Toolkit, QI Toolkit, Toolkit to Improve Safety in Mechanically Ventilated Patients, Long-term Care Toolkit
Topics(s): Quality Indicator (QI), Patient Safety, Health Care Quality
Geographic Location: Washington
Implementer: Harborview Medical Center
Page last reviewed February 2017