Project Shows Simple Steps Reduce Hospital Infections

Seven health care institutions participated in a quality-improvement project advanced by the Joint Commission and the American College of Surgeons to reduce colorectal surgical-site infection rates. During a two and a half year period, those facilities saved more than $3.7 million by avoiding 135 infections.

The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: Simple Measures Cut Infections Caught In Hospitals
A project at seven big hospitals reduced infections after colorectal surgeries by nearly one-third. It prevented an estimated 135 infections, saving almost $4 million, the Joint Commission hospital regulating group and the American College of Surgeons announced Wednesday. The two groups directed the 2 1/2-year project (11/28).

Medscape: Hospitals Cut Colorectal Surgical-Site Infections By A Third
Seven academic medical centers reduced their rate of colorectal surgical site infections (SSIs) by 32 percent with interventions that included hand sanitizer, new sets of instruments for closure, and postoperative telephone calls to patients about wound care, leaders of the quality improvement campaign announced at a press conference today. The hospitals scored an even bigger success by lowering the rate for a type of colorectal SSI called superficial incisional by 45 percent. In all, they avoided an estimated 135 colorectal SSIs, thereby saving more than $3.7 million. They also lowered the average length of stay for patients with these infections from 15 days to 13 days (Lowes, 11/28).

Modern Healthcare: Project Seen Cutting Colorectal Surgical-Site Infections
Seven institutions participating in a Joint Commission and American College of Surgeons quality-improvement project to reduce colorectal surgical-site infection rates saved more than $3.7 million by avoiding 135 infections over a 2½-year period. This included superficial incisional infections, affecting skin and underlying tissue, which were lowered 45 percent; and all types of colorectal surgical-site infections by 32 percent. The average length of stay for surgical-site infection patients was reduced to 13 days from 15. Joint Commission President Dr. Mark Chassin said during a news conference that "there is no simple, one-size-fits-all solution," but he explained that the key to reducing these infections lies in pinpointing causes and then using and testing targeted solutions to solve those problems (Robeznieks, 11/28).

Also in the headlines --

USA Today: Deadly 'Superbugs' Invade U.S. Health Care Facilities
The doctors tried one antibiotic after another, racing to stop the infection as it tore through the man's body, but nothing worked. In a matter of days after the middle-aged patient arrived at University of Virginia Medical Center, the stubborn bacteria in his blood had fought off even what doctors consider "drugs of last resort" (Eisler, 11/29).

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