Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative
The Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) is a unique community resource, providing clinicians and institutions with the training and tools to dramatically improve patient safety and healthcare quality through reductions in medical errors, use of evidence-based practices and elimination of waste. Founded in 1997 as a consortium of Pittsburgh-area medical, business and civic leaders, PRHI has helped to change the way the nation thinks about health care. It was one of the earliest coalitions formed to address patient safety, predating by two years the IOM's landmark study disclosing that as many as 100,000 hospital patients die each year, not from illness, but from medical errors.
PRHI helps its clinical partners measurably improve patient outcomes by using proven quality engineering principles that it adapted for health care from the Toyota Production System. PRHI's Perfecting Patient CareSM (PPC) curriculum was a national forerunner in the movement to bring engineering disciplines to bear on clinical practice. The curriculum is taught to clinicians in an intensive, four–day program known as "PPC University."
Along with a network of passionate clinicians, PRHI is proving the value of these concepts in demonstrations and infection control projects at hospitals across the state. Our quality engineering principles are being used to bring best practices to cardiac care, reduce pathology errors and to develop new protocols for care of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes. Through a novel implementation at a nearby nursing home, quality engineering even shows promise of creating a model for improving long-term care.
PRHI's projects already have produced profound results. In an infection control demonstration that ranked as the nation's largest, some 40 hospitals in the region have reduced the incidence of an often fatal bloodstream infection by 68 percent. Using an intensive application of PRHI's quality engineering disciplines, one of the participating institutions virtually eradicated the infection from its ICUs. Similarly, Pittsburgh's Veterans Administration Health System, with PRHI coaching, eliminated a highly drug resistant strain of staph infection from its surgical units and now is using the protocols developed for doing so throughout its main hospital.
PRHI's success and impact is underscored in the report, Building a Better Delivery System, issued by the prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Academy of Engineering. Published in 2005, this report encourages the healthcare industry to widely adopt quality engineering disciplines similar to those PRHI has been pursuing since its formation.
For more information visit www.prhi.org