Infection rates drop 79% with hospital collaboration

Collaboration among Kansas hospitals successfully reduced central line-associated bloodstream infections by 79 percent over two years, according to data presented Friday by the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative.

The hospital teamwork was part of a voluntary national effort to eliminate bloodstream infections using the Comprehensive Unit-Based Safety Program (CUSP).

One of the collaborating hospitals, Newton Medical Center's critical care unit, successfully dropped its bloodstream infections rate down to zero between June 2011 and July 2012.

"Clearly, we are thrilled with the success of Kansas hospitals and are energized to continue coordinating efforts to improve quality together," Kansas Healthcare Collaborative Executive Director Kendra Tinsley said Thursday in a statement.

Ohio also has seen the benefits of such collaboration; teamwork among 53 of its hospitals led to a 48 percent drop in central line-associated bloodstream infections in ICUs.

Meanwhile, 89 hospitals Kansas are joining forces to reduce hospital-associated infections by 40 percent and preventable hospital readmissions by 20 percent by the end of next year, KCUR reported. The Kansas Hospital Engagement Network, spearheaded by the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative and launched earlier this month, will train healthcare workers, organize forums and establish patient safety best practices.

Regardless of the Supreme Court's ruling, providers will maintain efforts to improve patient safety, like the Kansas Hospital Engagement Network. "It doesn't matter if the healthcare law is in place or not. Healthcare is not affordable at the current rate, and we know that and something has to be done," Tinsley told KCUR.

For more:
- read the KHC statement
- here's the KCUR article