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WellSpan Health joins national initiative

WellSpan Health joins national initiative to speed up use of research findings to improve health

WellSpan Health, an organization that has put strong emphasis on continuous improvements and innovation, has been selected as one of 42 health systems across the U.S. to help drive a pioneering initiative to alleviate long lag times in between when research findings hit the headlines, and when they are able to bring tangible improvements to the lives of patients.

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) selected WellSpan and the other health systems as participants in their Health Systems Implementation Initiative (HSII) to bring their on-the-ground experience and expertise to bear on this issue. According to PCORI, there is currently an estimated 17-year lag between publication of research results that have been shown to improve patients' outcomes, and when those findings can achieve widespread uptake in health care practices.

"WellSpan Health is committed to developing leading-edge practices and continuous improvement measures to advance the future of health care from right here in South Central Pennsylvania," said Dr. Michael Seim, senior vice president and chief quality officer, WellSpan Health. "Most importantly, this collaboration will enable us to develop and quickly implement improvements to deliver more advanced and safer care to our friends and neighbors across the region we call home."

HSII participating health systems have the opportunity to prepare proposals for capacity building projects in the first stage of the initiative. Each participating health system can receive up to $500,000 for a project in this initial stage that supports preparation for future implementation strategies. A second HSII funding opportunity will support practical and innovative projects that promote uptake of specific evidence from PCORI-funded research studies within the health systems, with funds ranging from $500,000 to $5 million per implementation project.

In addition, through the HSII Learning Network, WellSpan and other participants will share experiences and learn from one another about best practices for implementation, evaluation metrics, and other topics integral to successful implementation of care-informing strategies. Through the network, participants will provide input to PCORI on topics and specific PCORI-funded findings of interest for future implementation projects.
WellSpan has been recognized for its quality and safety initiatives on a frequent basis over the past several years, most recently with the HAP Achievement Award for innovative efforts to address patient safety, and received HAP's top honor in 2019 for its "Living the Vision" in healthcare by reducing housing insecurity of patients so they can recover more easily following hospitalization.

WellSpan Health also brings to the collaborative experience with quickly studying and then implementing solutions in the clinical space, like its work to study what could be done to reduce the time between when a patient develops signs of sepsis and when interventions could be deployed, cutting the time to 15 minutes and saving lives through our Central Alerts Team model.

"We welcome the opportunity to work with WellSpan Health and the other health systems participating in this groundbreaking initiative that will leverage their knowledge and experience to facilitate practice change and improve care based on results of PCORI-funded research," said PCORI Executive Director Nakela L. Cook, M.D., M.P.H. "The HSII participants' efforts will lay the groundwork for future expansion and broader implementation by demonstrating pathways to uptake and sharing lessons learned across health systems."

HSII participants collectively represent 800 hospitals serving 79 million unique patients—nearly a quarter of the U.S. population—across 41 states and the District of Columbia. They include academic medical centers, community-based systems, integrated healthcare delivery and finance systems, safety net health systems, faith-based systems, public health care delivery systems and a medical center within the Veterans Health Administration. See the full list on PCORI's website.

To learn more about WellSpan's quality and safety initiatives, visit