Thursday, May 8, 2014

Rates of Infections, Falls, Pressure Ulcers, Other Hospital Acquired Conditions Drop

Hospitals saw a nine percent decrease in harms experienced by patients from 2010 to 2012, according to a new report from the U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS). There were reductions in adverse drug events, falls, infections, pressure ulcers, and other areas, estimated to have prevented nearly 15,000 deaths and 560,000 cases of patients being harmed in hospitals.

The HHS report also shows that the incidences of hospital-acquired infections dropped from 145 per 1,000 discharges in 2010 to 132 per 1,000 discharges in 2012, resulting in 560,000 few incidents in two years, FierceHealthcare reports. Falls and trauma declined 14.7 percent and pressure ulcers fell 25.2 percent.

In addition to lives saved, the reduction in harm to patients saved $4.1 billion according to the report, which credits factors such as diverse public-private partnerships, active engagement by patients and families, and new tools provided by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with the improvement. In 2011, under the ACA, HHS launched the Partnership for Patients, a nationwide public private initiative to keep patients from being harmed in hospitals and heal without complication. The Partnership shares best practices with more than 3,700 hospitals enrolled in the initiative.

INQRI grantees have conducted a number of studies into how nurses can lead efforts to reduce medical errors and patient harm, including:
  • Reducing central line-associated bloodstream infections was the focus of an INQRI-funded study led by David Thompson and Jill Marsteller. Their study, involving 45 intensive care units in 35 hospitals in 12 states, tested a nurse-led intervention that used a bundle of evidence-based practices to reduce infections. The intervention was successful in significantly reducing infections and also highlighted the importance of promoting a culture of safety and communication. It also established that nurses should play a central role in quality improvement interventions.
  • The INQRI funded project “Interdisciplinary Mobility Team Approach to Reduction of Facility-Acquired Pressure Ulcers” developed a sustainable, system-wide program for pressure ulcer prevention that enhances mobility of long-term care (LTC) residents. The primary goal, under nursing's leadership, was to reduce LTC facility-acquired pressure ulcer incidence by 50 percent using a cost-effective innovative program to increase resident active or passive movement. The team, which developed and implemented a program that involved using musical cues to remind residents to move or staff to help residents move, was led by Tracey Yap, a nurse researcher, and Jay Kim, an engineer.
  •  INQRI grantee Patti Dykes worked with a team to develop the Falls: Tailoring Interventions for Patient Safety (Falls TIPS) online tool kit to educate patients and families about how they can work with nurses and other providers to prevent falls. The toolkit was developed based on the Fall TIP: Validation of Icons to Communicate Fall Risk Status and Tailored Interventions to Prevent Patient Falls study, which involved developing and validating a set of icons designed to communicate fall risk status, and developing tailored interventions to prevent patient falls in hospitals.
The full HHS report is available here.

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