WSHA’s patient safety program started in 2005, when hospitals agreed to set competition aside and work together to improve the quality of health care for all patients. Since then, WSHA’s Patient Safety Program has made Washington state a national leader in improving health care delivery.

Because of WSHA’s record of success, it was awarded a contract with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as part of their Partnership for Patients.

A further mark of our success was when CMS identified WSHA’s Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) as a participant in the Leading Edge Advanced Practice Topics or LEAPT program. WSHA was one of just six sites in the nation selected by CMS for the program.

LEAPT was created by CMS to expand and spread knowledge in several important areas of patient harm. This year-long project provided intensive focus on areas important to our clinicians and patients, and involved 47 hospitals and health systems. Groups of hospitals worked together to discover the leading edge practices in 12 new focus areas– well above the five focus areas requested by CMS.

This work included large and critical access hospitals so the learnings could be used by all types of medical centers.



The results included:

  • 38% reduction of severe sepsis and septic shock.
  • 37% fewer inductions with unfavorable cervix per total      deliveries.
  • 20% reduction of central line-associated bloodstream infections among patients not in an Intensive Care Unit.
  • 17% fewer Clostridium difficile infections.
  • 12% reduction of readmissions to hospitals.
  • 10% fewer employee injuries.
  • 10% reduction of child head CT dosage.


The information and resources developed as part of LEAPT continues to be a resource for providers.

Additional Background:

Board members, senior administrators and clinicians at the 47 participating hospitals embraced the vision of LEAPT and commended CMS leadership for this innovative approach to creating the health care system of the future. The addition resources from LEAPT allowed rapid cycle improvement to help hospitals to solve problems on those strategies, and others as well.

And LEAPT initiatives proved invaluable in other ways. For instance, new innovations have been created and partnerships fostered through LEAPT that would not have happened any other way.

LEAPT achievements were accelerated by frontline clinicians with expertise nationally working in partnership with local expert practitioners. These experts were chosen for their work in implementing leading-edge innovation in their area of expertise in their own facility or for their unique contribution to the science.

WSHA worked in partnership with many other organizations in these efforts, including Washington State Medical Association, Washington State Department of Health, Washington State Health Care Authority, and Qualis Health.

Key Strategies
Airway Safety
 All Cause Harm
Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI)
Central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI)
Engaging Leadership &Transforming Culture
Failure to Rescue
Hospital and Worker Culture of Safety
Safe Deliveries Roadmap
Radiation Safety


We are pleased to share this exciting news and are looking forward to continue to improve care for our communities!  If you have any questions please contact Carol Wagner at CarolW@wsha.org or (206) 577-1831.


And be watching here for additional information and tools as they are developed.



Carol Wagner
(206) 577-1831

"LEAPT and the work we are doing in Washington is creating new capacity to support quality and safety in new ways and we are excited to be part of the collaborative work. Through this effort, we've learned how critically important it is for leadership to support bedside staff; they are our problem solvers!"
 -Lane Savitch, President, Kadlec Regional Medical Center