Michigan Hospitals’ Patient Safety Improvements Proved Sustainable

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

On Monday, the American Medical Association’s Archives of Internal Medicine released the study “How Long Can Intensive Care Units Maintain Zero Central Line–Associated Bloodstream Infections?” The article found that Michigan hospitals participating in MHA Keystone: Intensive Care Unit (ICU), a collaborative of the MHA Keystone Center for Patient Safety & Quality, eliminated central-line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) for up to two years or more. Of the 80 participating ICUs, 60 percent went one year or more without a CLABSI and 26 percent achieved two years or more. These findings indicate that extended periods without infections are possible when a comprehensive initiative focused on reducing CLABSIs is implemented. This is the first known large-scale study to demonstrate that CLABSI prevention is sustainable.

The MHA Keystone: ICU collaborative uses a Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program that includes promoting a culture of patient safety, improving communication among ICU staff and implementing a checklist to ensure compliance with safety practices.

Partnership for Patients

The pioneering and voluntary efforts of Michigan hospitals to reduce CLABSIs align with the recently launched Partnership for Patients that aims to brings together hospitals, employers, physicians, nurses and patient advocates, along with state and federal governments, to improve the quality, safety and affordability of health care.

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