The Business Case for Quality: Michigan Hospitals Save Lives and $1.1 Million


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.

According to a recent study in the American Journal of Medical Quality, Michigan hospitals participating in the MHA Keystone: Intensive Care Unit program prevent 3.4 to 7.2 central-line-associated bloodstream infection deaths per year.

Six hospitals that have participated in MHA Keystone: ICU since its inception were selected for the study, which used cost-benefit analysis to compare the costs of implementing the improvement initiative with the generated financial savings.

A central-line-associated bloodstream infection is an infection that can occur when bacteria or other germs enter the blood through a central line — a tube placed into a large vein to administer medication or fluids and obtain blood tests.

“The Business Case for Quality: Economic Analysis of the Michigan Keystone Patient Safety Program in ICUs” concluded that each of the six participating hospitals avoided an average of 29.9 CLABSIs and 18 cases of ventilator-associated pneumonia. Using conservative estimates for averted costs of $36,500 per CLABSI and $10,000 per VAP, an average hospital would not only save lives by implementing MHA Keystone: ICU, but save roughly $1.1 million in costs per year. This is the most compelling study to date affirming the cost savings of the health care quality improvements of MHA Keystone Center collaboratives.

About MHA Keystone: ICU

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.



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