Ohio hospitals save $13 million by cutting infections

More than two dozen hospitals in Ohio that collaborated to reduce hospital infections and drug mix-ups saved $12.8 million in health care expenses by doing so, according to a recently released report. The Solutions for Patient Safety initiative, launched by a coalition of business and hospital groups in January 2009, included 17 hospitals acute care hospitals and eight children’s hospitals.

The report said hospitals were able to achieve the changes by sharing successful data-collection techniques and best preventive medical practices with one another.

Seventeen central Ohio hospitals cut methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections by 42% and catheter-related central line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) by 37%, thereby avoiding an estimated 918 patient days in the hospital and preventing 14 deaths. Meanwhile, the eight children’s hospitals cut surgical infections by 60% and adverse drug events by 35%, preventing more than 3,500 children from being harmed while in the hospital and saving $5.3 million in medical costs.

Two processes – hand hygiene and “scrubbing the hub” – emerged as critical to significantly reducing infection rates for MRSA and CLABSI. Hand hygiene was the primary area of focus for the collaborative’s efforts to reduce MRSA infections, and an inverse relationship between hand hygiene and incidence of MRSA was observed. Since the beginning of hand hygiene data collection by specially hired observers in September, the rate of compliance with washing hands upon entering and leaving a patient’s room, even while wearing gloves, has improved by more than 20 percent. For CLABSI related infections, the observers identified a critical point of infection transmission related to the length of time the “hub” (the access point in a catheter where fluids and medications are administered) is cleaned.

Source: American Medical Association News

You can read the report here.

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