Vicki Buchda, Director of Care Improvement

AzHHA’s Hospital Innovation Improvement Network (HIIN) hospitals are continuing to improve safety and reduce harm by creating partnerships with patients and families through advisory councils, multidisciplinary bedside rounding, change-of-shift bedside report and shared decision-making. The State of New York released the findings of corroborating previous findings that patient activation has been linked to better outcomes. They found that hospitals with high performing Patient and Family Advisory Committees (PFACs) had higher HCAHPS ratings than hospitals with no PFAC. Hospitals with high performing PFACs also performed better on safety metrics; they had lower rates of pressure ulcers (p<.05), sepsis and septic shock (p<.01), and 30-day hospital-wide readmissions (p<.01) than lower-performing PFACs. In Arizona, through the work of the AzHHA HIIN, hospitals have prevented 790 harms and almost $10 million were saved. AzHHA HIIN is proud to have sponsored 6 nurses from rural hospitals to attend the 2018 APIC Grand Canyon Conference in late October. In addition, AzHHA HIIN supported the attendance of 8 people at the Adda Alexander Patient Safety Conference which was held last month. 

AzHHA Welcomes Visante to the Affiliated Partners Program by AzHHA

John Koeneke, Vice President of Business Development

For almost 20 years, Visante has been advancing the pharmacy business by focusing exclusively on helping their clients optimize medication use systems and pharmaceutical utilization. They provide operational, clinical, risk management and financial assessments and solutions that improve efficiencies, optimize patient outcomes, support compliance and foster organizational growth across the continuum of care. For more information about our new affiliated partner please visit

AzHHA Releases Hospital Finance Reports for September by AzHHA

Jim Haynes, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Results for September 2018 show a marked increase in overall operating income year to date. At the same time, uncompensated care is continuing to run well below the levels encountered when enrollment was frozen. The graph below illustrates that uncompensated care rose when the number of childless adults covered by the AHCCCS program declined, and then decreased when coverage was restored and expanded to 133 percent of the federal poverty level.


Other key results include the cost of uncompensated care in millions of dollars for reporting hospitals compared to prior periods:

                                               2018      2017     2016     2015

January – September            $207      $194    $212      $223

Uncompensated care %        2.6%      2.5%    2.7%     3.1%

In September 2013, uncompensated care for the month was 8 percent, while in September 2012, the uncompensated care percentage for the month was 7.8 percent. In both months the enrollment was frozen. In September 2018, uncompensated care percentage was 2.8 percent reflecting the impact of increasing the number of lives covered by insurance.

National Influenza Vaccination Week by AzHHA

Genesis Verduzco, Communications Manager

This week is National Influenza Vaccination Week - a perfect time to share the importance of getting the flu vaccine with patients. Social media is a great way to communicate with patients to either let them know where they can get a flu vaccine or debunk myths associated with the vaccine. Consider using this time to encourage everyone 6 months and older to get their flu shot and to amplify the importance of getting vaccinated. For resources, including ready to share social media messaging and print ready materials, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website to access their flu season digital campaign toolkit.

Point of Pride: Northwest Medical Center by AzHHA

Northwest Medical Center adds spine surgery to its list of surgical robotic surgeries performed. Earlier this year, our member performed its first spinal fusion surgery using a new robotic technology. This technology improves the accuracy of placing screws into the lower back, while reducing the need for x-ray exposure to the patient, OR staff, and surgeon during the surgery. Robotic technology will add tremendous value to many of the surgeries performed on patients because it provides better accuracy for placing screws into the spine. This typically leads to a better outcome of the spine fusion and could mean shorter recovery time as well as offer better overall patient-reported outcomes.