AP/Las Vegas Sun Examines Reductions in Hospital-Acquired Infections
The AP/Las Vegas Sun on Friday looked at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's 100,000 Lives Campaign, a nationwide initiative to reduce the number of complications in hospitals. The campaign, which includes one-fifth of U.S. hospitals, aims to save 100,000 lives annually by reducing problems, such as medication errors. According to the AP/Sun, six months into the campaign, participating hospitals are seeing reductions in hospital-acquired infections.
For example, about 80 hospitals in Michigan and New Jersey that have been working with the institute and Johns Hopkins University have "virtually eliminated" cases of ventilator-associated pneumonia, as well as blood infections from complications with neck and groin catheters, the AP/Sun reports. Michigan hospital officials said they believe the reduction in infections prevented a total of 73 deaths from pneumonia and four deaths from blood infection in 2004. Hospitals in the program follow steps such as removing patients from ventilators more quickly and using stronger disinfectants when inserting catheters. The efforts could help hospitals save millions in medication and supply costs, and patients are able to avoid the expenses of extended hospital stays (Johnson, AP/Las Vegas Sun, 6/3).