Allina's Mercy Hospital receives HHS patient safety award
COON RAPIDS, Minn. 06/17/2011--Mercy Hospital is only one of four hospitals in the United States to be awarded an Outstanding Leadership Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for achievements in eliminating two types of hospital-acquired infections (HAI).
From left to right are Pam Madrid, clinical nurse specialist; Michelle Farber , board-certified infection preventionist; Kelly Erhart, RN; and Ann Burton, RN.
Award winning teams: Clinical Action Teams helped Mercy Hospital become the the only hospital in Minnesota to earn an Outstanding Leadership Award for eliminating hospital-acquired infections.
Out of 250 hospitals that applied nationwide, Mercy is the only hospital in Minnesota to earn an Outstanding Leadership Award, the highest level, for eliminating central-line associated blood-stream infections (CLABSI) and ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP).
Out of 2,400 patients who receive care at Mercy's intensive care unit every year, there have been no cases of CLABSI for nearly three years and only one case of VAP per year.
"The key to our success is to involve the entire care team, especially staff nurses, in identifying problems and solutions, so that everyone follows safety procedures with every patient, every time, without exception," said Tom O'Connor, president of Mercy Hospital. "This award recognizes that we are providing the kind of care that every patient expects and deserves."
National priority: Less hospital-acquired infections saves lives
Hospital-acquired infections affect about one in 20 hospitalized patients nationwide. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has set a goal of reducing them by 40 percent by the end of 2013. This could save more than 60,000 lives.
Eliminating hospital-acquired infections is also a focus of the federal Affordable Care Act. The law includes the Hospital Value Based Purchasing Program which will reward larger payments to high performing hospitals. HHS awarded a total of 37 hospitals for making progress in eliminating hospital-acquired infections.
"This award reflects the leadership support and collaboration of our team to continually seek ways to eliminate all health care-associated infections, and to ensure every patients receives safe, reliable, yet cost effective care," said Michelle Farber, board-certified infection preventionist at Mercy Hospital.
Cost savings: Reductions in hospital-acquired infections
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that a 58 percent reduction of central-line associated blood-stream infections (CLABSI) in United States ICUs saved $414 million in extra costs from 2001 to 2009. Eliminating CLABSI at Mercy Hospital reduced medical expenses by an estimated $424,000 and resulted in 96 fewer days in the ICU for patients between 2007 and 2010.
Preventing ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) saves about $18,000 per patient, according to the 2008 Advisory Board.
The effort to eliminate VAP and CLABSI at Mercy began in 2003 with initiatives that include:
- New infection prevention protocol. Mercy was one of the first hospitals in 2009 to implement a protocol to bathe ICU patients daily with the antiseptic chlorhexidine gluconate. Scientific research has since proven the effectiveness of this practice in several multicenter trials and is evolving as a best practice among other hospitals in the nation.
- Early removal of catheter or ventilator. Protocols and order sets allow the ICU staff to wean patients from ventilators and to remove catheters as early as possible. Mercy has shared this early extubation protocol with hospitals across the U.S. and England.
- Clinical Action Teams. CAT teams focus on one area or opportunity. Teams review literature, implement evidence-based improvements and then hard-wire practices into work-flows. For example, a "Scrub the Hub" campaign highlighted the need to use friction with an alcohol pad for 15 seconds before accessing a port.
In addition to the HHS award:
About Mercy Hospital
Mercy Hospital, part of Allina Hospitals & Clinics, is a non-profit hospital that serves the northwestern Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. Mercy responds to a wide range of health needs with specialty services including cancer care, heart and vascular services, mental health services, orthopedics, neurosciences, surgery, women's and children's services, emergency and Level II trauma services.
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Scientific research on the effectiveness of chlorohexidine gluconate
Daily chlorohexidine gluconate bathing with impregnated cloths results in statistically significant reduction in central line-associated bloodstream infections. Dixon JM, et al. Am J Infect Control 2010; 38:817-21.
Ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) / Hospital-acquired pneumonia
Hospital-acquired pneumonia is an infection of the lungs contracted during a hospital stay. This occurs more often in patients who require a respirator (also called a breathing machine or ventilator) to help them breathe. When pneumonia occurs in a patient who is on a ventilator, it is known as ventilator-associated pneumonia.
Learn more about hospital-acquired pneumonia in our health encyclopedia.