Garill Coles, Principal Scientist, Risk and Decision Science, PNNL, Chair

Meeting details

The Patient Safety Coalition meetings for 2017 are in the Benton-Franklin Health District Board Room on 3rd Thursdays 2:30-4:00 pm.


To advance the progress of patient safety in our community by collaborating as healthcare institutions, community leaders and risk specialists.

The TCPSC selected investigation into high hospital readmissions rates as the TCPSC project for CY2015 given the data from Qualis Health indicating that the Tri Cities area had a high rate of readmissions and diabetes. Out of 16 communities in Washington State, the Tri-Cities ranked 2nd highest and Walla ranked 2nd lowest for readmission rates according to the Qualis data report created on February 11, 2015.

During the year, the Coalition considered several models for addressing high readmission rates, and explored definitions and assumption underlying the Qualis data. They also analyzed root causes for the differences in readmissions rates between the Tri Cities and Walla Walla, since Walla Walla had better rates and similar demographics to the Tri-Cities.  From this work the Coalition gathered 8 specific insights from the TCSPC’s evaluation of Qualis.   In general, readmissions in Tri-Cities tend to be for sicker, older patients, and Medicare beneficiaries in this community are more likely than elsewhere in the state to have four or more chronic diseases, which may pose unique challenges to care transition improvement efforts.

A presentation about the Prosser Community Paramedic Program (CPP) has given the Coalition some new insight about another possible intervention.  Their program has led to avoided readmission costs of $600/CPP visit and has other advantages including low operational costs after start-up, and strengthening the relationship between the hospitals, EMS, and patients.  The program has also promoted patient loyalty and satisfaction, and is an effective source for referrals.  Based on PMH’s experience, the CPP can also be used as a bargaining chip for insurance.

The Coalition will continue to study the CPP for its possible adoption in the Tri-Cities, and make a recommendation to the BFCHA Executive Board by the end of 2016 for possible ways to reduce hospital readmissions.