Nurses and nurse aids in intensive care units bathe patients each day using washcloths impregnated with an antiseptic agent, leading to a significant reduction in hospital-acquired infections.
As mandated by State law, the California Department of Health Services requires acute care hospitals to maintain minimum nurse-to-patient staffing ratios and to develop various systems to ensure adequate nurse coverage and quality, leading to more reasonable workloads, lower patient mortality, and higher job satisfaction.
As required by law, hospitals in New York track and report information on select hospital-acquired infections to the State Department of Health, which publicly releases hospital-specific performance data and supports hospitals with quality improvement initiatives; the program has reduced infection rates and generated substantial cost savings.
A regional health system with 21 hospitals implemented a comprehensive sepsis care initiative featuring proactive screening in the emergency department, algorithms to guide evidence-based treatment, and tools to support the provision of appropriate care, leading to better diagnosis, more appropriate care, lower mortality rates, and more patients meeting clinical targets.
A comprehensive set of protocols and practices virtually eliminates catheter-related bloodstream infections in the neonatal intensive care unit, generating estimated annual savings of $750,000 to $1,000,000.
Working as part of an “intensive care unit without walls,” critical care physicians (called intensivists) decide which patients require intensive care unit admission and oversee the care of all critically ill patients throughout the hospital, leading to declines in hospital and intensive care unit mortality, improved management of intensive care unit bed capacity, and low intensive care unit length of stay for terminally ill patients.
Pharmacy residents complete one 24-hour shift at a hospital approximately every 2 weeks, providing an array of services, including consultations and assistance with emergency situations; the program has led to low dosing error rates and to high levels of adherence to recommended guidelines for emergency stroke patients and has helped to produce more confident, capable pharmacists.
On-call, pediatric intensive care unit attending physicians consult with onsite clinicians and patient/family members from their homes via audiovisual technology that allows real-time communication, leading to improved quality and timeliness of care and high levels of patient/family satisfaction.
Clinicians in a tertiary hospital continuously monitor and intervene as necessary with critical care patients in rural facilities via telemedicine, leading to reductions in mortality, length of stay, number of patient transfers, and costs.
As part of a hospital collaborative, intensive care units implemented a multifaceted safety program that reduced infections and hospital days, saved lives, and lowered health care costs.