Case Study: Setting a national example for quality healthcare, Florida Hospital Association

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Over the past decade hospitals around the country have focused on improving patient safety and quality of care, helping patients heal more quickly and return home sooner, while saving costs. The Minneapolis office of Weber Shandwick’s Healthcare team has worked with leading organizations that are helping improve care and set new standards for hospital quality, including the Florida Hospital Association (FHA).

Since 2009, Weber Shandwick has partnered with the Florida Hospital Association (FHA) to support its development of nation-leading quality programs and to help raise Florida’s reputation for quality care. At the time, Florida’s hospitals were already leading the nation in the first statewide readmissions initiative. Weber Shandwick worked in partnership with FHA and the American College of Surgeons to develop the Florida Surgical Care Initiative (FSCI), the nation’s largest statewide surgical quality improvement collaborative. And Florida’s hospitals were early adopters of national programs to reduce hospital infections.

Together, Weber Shandwick and FHA recruited hospital participants to FSCI, developed webinar education programs and in-person meetings, and promoted the programs and successes publicly. In five years, Florida hospitals’ hard work paid off through improved patient care, reduced complications and millions in costs saved. Surgical complications dropped 14.5 percent, hospital readmissions dropped 15 percent and hospital infections dropped 37 percent. At least 125 lives were saved and 5,944 cases of harm prevented, saving $70 million in the first five years. Since then, Florida’s hospitals have continued to improve through the national Partnership for Patients program and FHA’s Hospital Engagement Network (FHA HEN), preventing 27,000 cases of harm, 15,000 readmissions and saving $170 million.

Weber Shandwick worked with FHA to launch a public campaign to celebrate the quality successes. As a result of the program:FHA 5 Years Report Cover Image

  • FHA and its members were awarded the prestigious American Hospital A
    ssociation Davidson Award, one of the nation’s top quality awards, as well as the Florida Health Care Coalition’s Community Quality Award.
  • FHA leaders and members were invited to speak at four national conferences and secured meetings with six prominent thought leaders, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the Institute of Medicine, and the Business Roundtable.
  • Over the first five years of the quality campaign, media outreach resulted in 225 stories and at least 100 million impressions. Social media engagement reached a potential audience of 800,000.

The campaign also received top national public relations awards, including PRWeek’s Healthcare Campaign of the Year honorable mention, SABRE Award for Associations, and the PRSA Silver Anvil for Reputation in 2015.


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