Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hospital Proves That Improved ICU Quality Saves Dollars

Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center (SWRMC) has gone 5 years and hopes to celebrate its 6th year of no ventilator acquired pneumonia (VAP) cases in its ICU. This experience puts SWRMC in the top 10% of hospitals nationally in VAP experience. SWRC's ICU costs are $6,000 less that other comparable hospitals.

VAP is the second most common hospital acquired infection and the most common in ICUs.

This achievement is due to managing length of stay and ventilator days through:
  • Screening protocols which result in fewer patients being put on ventilators in the first place
  • Implementing the Institute for Health Improvement's ventilator bundle
  • And, as The Leapfrog Group requires, using a dedicated intensivist (a physician specially trained in critical care medicine) in the ICU.
SWRMC's experience shows that better quality does indeed cost less. Employers have a vested interest in whether or not hosptials implement these types of process improvements as these improvements result in better care for the patient and cost the patient and employer less. MBGH is the Regional Roll Out leader for The Leapfrog Group here in Memphis. Employers should continue to push, through MBGH, for these types of improvements so we too can benefit here in Memphis.

Click here to read the article.

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