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Sebelius Stresses Patient Safety at Truman Med

Photo by Elana Gordon/KCUR
HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius (r) meets with staff at Truman Medical Center.

By Elana Gordon

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Former Kansas Governor and now Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, met with area health leaders at Truman Medical Center today on the need to improve patient safety.

She says one of her goals is to reduce hospital acquired infections and other preventable injuries in health care settings by 40 percent.

"That in and of itself would save, across America, 60,000 lives - much less the hospital days those patients don't have to spend," Sebelius said during a panel discussion.

Sebelius said Truman is a model in terms of its efforts to reduce preventable injuries, and that health agencies need to partner and learn from each others' approaches.

The Secretary toured Truman's cardiac rehab program, which is equipped with treadmills and stationary bikes. Staff and patients talked with her about the benefits of having access to exercise and nutrition programs.

Truman is one of more than 2,000 hospitals nationwide that has signed an HHS pledge to reduce hospital infections and readmissions. Truman was Sebelius' eighth hospital stop since launching the patient safety initiative in April.


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