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Kentucky Hospital Association Continues Statewide Rollout of Structured Communication for Clinical Care Transitions with I-PASS

Kentucky Hospital Association Continues Statewide Rollout of Structured Communication for Clinical Care Transitions with I-PASS

Appalachian Regional Healthcare’s 12 Kentucky-based Hospitals Join Baptist Health in Implementing I-PASS Across Institutions

BOSTON, Mass. – February 14, 2024 I-PASS, the gold standard for reducing preventable medical errors through improved clinical communications during care transitions, today announced Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH), the largest care provider in Eastern Kentucky, as the second participant in the I-PASS Kentucky Hospital Association Transitions and Communication in Hospitals (KHATCH) Program. The I-PASS KHATCH Program, the first statewide program of its kind in the country, enables the Kentucky Hospital Association’s (KHA) member network to receive funded access to the I-PASS solution. Joining Baptist Health in the program, ARH will implement I-PASS across the health system’s 12 Kentucky-based hospitals to reduce preventable medical errors and advance patient safety statewide.

Launched in November 2023, the I-PASS KHATCH Program aims to improve patient safety and reduce preventable medical errors through standardized handoffs. Through the program, KHA will fund ARH’s complete implementation of the I-PASS bundle, which includes coaching, consultation, and a collection of technological tools to increase the quality and reliability of verbal and written handoffs.

“The I-PASS framework and solution provide us with a proven approach for fulfilling our mission to deliver the best, safest care we can to the people of Kentucky,” said Jeneen Carman, System Chief Nursing Officer at ARH. “We have witnessed firsthand the importance of reliable communication across the patient care journey, and particularly at care transitions. By providing our clinicians with a framework to address a leading root cause of patient safety issues, we can establish a model to drive improved patient outcomes in the communities we serve.”

“In healthcare, reliable communication is essential to driving care quality, especially during care transitions,” said Dr. Anthony Stumbo, Regional Chief Medical Officer at ARH. “The I-PASS framework structures handoffs to capture often-missed patient information, prevent miscommunication, and reduce medical errors. I’m confident that I-PASS will give physicians the support and tools they need to communicate more effectively and provide safe, patient-centered care.”

Unstructured and variable patient handoffs pose a tremendous patient safety risk for hospitals and health systems across the country. A Joint Commission study found that sentinel event rates increased 78% nationwide between 2020 and 2022, with miscommunication serving as the leading cause of these events. Additionally, data published in the Journal of Patient Safety showed that during a 10-year period, nearly half of all medical malpractice claims involved communication failures, 77% of which could be prevented with a proper handoff tool. To help reverse these trends, the I-PASS KHATCH Program is providing care teams with a blueprint for safer handoffs, establishing a shared language for care transitions across Kentucky.

“In launching the I-PASS KHATCH initiative, the Kentucky Hospital Association had a vision to be the first state hospital association to eliminate communication failures statewide,” said Deborah Campbell, Vice President of Clinical Strategy and Transformation at KHA. “It’s beyond fulfilling to see that dream take shape into a reality. We believe this program can serve as a playbook for other hospital associations across the country to elevate the national standard of care and improve the care experience for clinicians and patients alike.”

To learn more about improving patient safety through better clinical care transitions, please contact


About Appalachian Regional Healthcare

Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH), is a not-for-profit health system operating 14 hospitals, as well as multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies, home medical equipment stores and retail pharmacies. ARH employs nearly 6,700 people and has a network of more than 1,300 providers on staff across its multi-state system. ARH is the largest provider of care and the single largest employer in southeastern Kentucky. Learn more at

About Kentucky Hospital Association

The Kentucky Hospital Association (KHA), established in 1929, represents hospitals, related health care organizations, and integrated health care systems dedicated to sustaining and improving the health status of the citizens of Kentucky. Learn more at

About I-PASS

The I-PASS Patient Safety Institute enables structured communications during clinical care transitions, and as a result, improves both patient safety and clinical outcomes. Founded by clinicians in 2016, the I-PASS Institute leverages expert mentorship paired with technology and digital tools to scale the I-PASS methodology. I-PASS is currently implemented in more than 100 healthcare institutions across the continuum of care. Learn more at

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