Case study: Indiana hospitals improve safety

A group of hospitals that usually fight for business have seen great success in improving patient safety since deciding to work together. The Indianapolis  Coalition for Patient Safety, a consortium of six hospital systems, began collaborating four years ago on a project designed to cut down on medical errors. This week, the group said their efforts have made a significant difference.

The hospital systems said they'd seen the greatest improvement in two areas, cutting ICU-based pneumonia and finding patients at risk for heart or respiratory failure. Over the past year, some participating hospitals haven't seen a single case of pneumonia in their ICU, a great track record when compared with the 15 percent of patients who develop vent-associated pneumonia nationally.

Some of the hospitals also have developed rapid-response teams to quickly address patients who aren't doing well. For example, St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers cut the number of "code blues" after heart or other failures by 60 percent in 18 months by using such teams.

To learn more about the project:
- read this article in The Indianapolis Star

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