Blue Shield of California Foundation expands hospital-infection program

Having gone through a nine-hospital pilot effort, the Blue Shield of California Foundation is expanding a program to prevent hospital-acquired infection. The expanded program will include 55 facilities, far short of the 100 volunteer hospitals the foundation was hoping to attract, but still enough to move ahead. Under the expanded program, the Foundation hopes to see 2,000 fewer patients contract HAIs, 15,000 fewer inpatient days, and $30 million less costs to patients and hospitals. Under the 18-month pilot, more than 600 infections were prevented, resulting in 4,640 fewer unnecessary hospital days and saving $9 million.

All of the 55 hospitals participating in the program will get training from nationally-recognized infection prevention leaders, focusing on six common types of HAIs. These include MRSA, central line bloodstream infections and urinary tract infections. Meanwhile, 14 of the participating non-profit hospitals will get grants from the Foundation to help them buy data-mining software that will be used to help the facilities find and treat these infections.

Other hospitals in the state are already participating in several HAI-prevention and quality-improvement initiatives, including northern California's Beacon Collaborative, the southern California Patient Safety Collaborative, the Children's Hospital Collaborative or the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's quality-improvement programs.

To learn more about the program:
- read this San Francisco Business Times piece

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