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Illinois hospitals cut patients’ number of infections, falls

Updated: November 20, 2013 6:10AM



Fewer preventable harmful events, such as patients falling down or getting catheter-associated urinary tract infections, happened in Illinois hospitals in 2012, compared with the year before, a new report shows.

The report, released by the Illinois Hospital Association on Thursday, is based on the achievements of more than 200 hospitals and health systems in Illinois.

The report found that those hospitals reduced the number of falls, pressure ulcers, infections and other harmful events from 2011 to 2012. Specifically, there were 843 fewer instances of preventable patient harm in 2012 than 2011.

Breakdowns of how different participating hospitals performed was not provided by the Illinois Hospital Association, but the association said the estimated cost savings amounted to more than $18 million.

Seven categories were looked at:

◆ Central line-associated bloodstream infections (when bacteria or other germs enter the bloodstream through intravenous tubes or catheter).

◆ Pressure ulcers.

◆ Adverse events during baby delivery.

◆ Ventilator-associated pneumonia.

◆ Catheter-associated urinary tract infections.

◆ Patient falls.

◆ Venous thromboembolism (when a blood clot travels from the lower leg or pelvis and the heart or lungs, often blocking blood flow).

The Illinois Hospital Association set a statewide goal to reduce these hospital-acquired conditions and infections three years ago.

Maryjane Wurth, IHA president and CEO, said, “Illinois hospitals and health -care systems are to be commended for their strong commitment to achieving the highest-quality patient care — ensuring that every patient gets the right care, at the right time, in the right setting.”

However, not all the news was good. The report found that preventable hospital readmissions remained at about 14 percent from 2011 to 2012.

The hospital association said it is making progress to reduce that number.

Email: mjthomas@suntimes.com

Twitter: @MonifaThomas1



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