MHA Keystone Initiative Saves Lives of Older Patients in Michigan Hospitals

This guest post is by Sam R. Watson, senior vice president, Patient Safety and Quality at the Michigan Health & Hospital Association and executive director of the MHA Keystone Center for Patient Safety & Quality.

Last week, the British Medical Journal published a study indicating that checklists, culture changes and sustained efforts by Michigan hospitals have reduced infections and measurably saved the lives of Medicare patients in intensive care units.

The study, “Impact of a Statewide Intensive Care Unit Quality Improvement Initiative on Hospital Mortality and Length of Stay,” concluded that implementation of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association Keystone Center for Patient Safety & Quality ICU initiative resulted in a significant decrease in hospital mortality among Medicare patients in Michigan hospitals.

Measurable success

The study found that an ICU patient’s chance of dying while hospitalized decreased by about 24 percent in Michigan after MHA Keystone: ICU was implemented, compared to only 16 percent in surrounding Midwestern states where the program was not implemented. Researchers analyzed Medicare data for ICU patients in Michigan hospitals and 364 hospitals in 11 surrounding Midwestern states. They looked at data before the project was initiated, while it was being phased in and up to 22 months after implementation.

Launched in October 2003, MHA Keystone: ICU reduces central-line-associated bloodstream infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia that occur in ICU patients. The collaborative remains the most successful regional partnership of ICUs ever assembled in a single patient safety initiative and includes more than 70 Michigan hospitals.

MHA Keystone: ICU has achieved significant, measurable patient safety improvements while saving lives and reducing health care costs. From March 2004 to March 2010, the initiative resulted in more than 1,830 lives saved, more than 140,700 excess hospital days avoided and more than $300 million in health care dollars saved.

Editor’s note: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is a sponsor of the MHA Keystone Center initiatives.



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