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Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Holds Forum to Explore Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality Initiatives
Date:9/14/2007

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) convened a forum today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to discuss how insurers, doctors and hospitals are working together to improve healthcare quality and patient safety. Representatives from the Premier Inc. healthcare alliance, Duke University Health System, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, and WellPoint, Inc., participated in the event.

"Today's forum provides an opportunity to showcase the innovative ways insurers and providers are working together to develop and implement successful practices for delivering patient care that is both safe and effective," said Allan Korn, MD, BCBSA senior vice president and chief medical officer. "Our goal is to accelerate change in decreasing the risk of potential harm to patients in the clinical setting. As today's event demonstrates, this is a shared commitment between the Blues and all healthcare stakeholders."

Based on data collected over several years from multiple partner institutions, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) estimates that nearly 15 million instances of medical harm occur in the U.S. each year. That is equal to a rate of more than 40,000 incidents per day.

In late 2006, participating Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies joined IHI in its national campaign to dramatically reduce incidents of medical harm in U.S. hospitals. The Blues are contributing a total of $5 million during 2007-08 as principal stakeholders to advance IHI's 5 Million Lives Campaign, which encourages hospitals to adopt at least one of 12 improvements in care that can protect patients from medical harm.

Today's forum, "Collaborating to Improve Quality and Safety in Healthcare: Results through Shared Commitment" illustrates best practices among healthcare professionals, hospitals and insurers. Participants included:

-- Allan Korn, MD, senior vice president and chief medical offic
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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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