Quality

Vermont Hospital Honored for Reducing Healthcare-Associated Infections


 

The University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMC), a 562-bed academic facility in Burlington, has been honored with a Partnership in Prevention award for sustainable improvements to eliminate healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The award, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, recognizes the concepts of the National Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections: Roadmap to Elimination of the federal Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

UVMC was honored for creating a culture of safety and collaboration across ranks and disciplines, with a team of infection prevention advocates from the hospital, ambulatory clinics, and dialysis center, along with multi-disciplinary teams focused on infection prevention and control initiatives. The hospital posted a 77% reduction in reported central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI) in its medical ICU, and its neonatal ICU went 36 months without a CLABSI. Two surgeon-directed initiatives reduced surgical site infection rates for total knee and hip joint replacements by 81%—with 1,677 consecutive infection-free total knee arthroplasties.

UVMC also joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Dialysis Bloodstream Infection Prevention Collaborative in 2009 and has since reduced dialysis-related bloodstream infections by 83%.

UVMC also joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Dialysis Bloodstream Infection Prevention Collaborative in 2009 and has since reduced dialysis-related bloodstream infections by 83%.

One key to its success, according to Anna Noonan, vice president of the Jeffords Institute for Quality and Operational Effectiveness at UVMC, is the fact that executive leadership, infection prevention specialists, clinicians, and quality experts are working together and using data to drive improvement. For example, the medical center implemented protocols for inserting central lines and offered mentored support in its simulation lab for clinicians—including hospitalists—to learn and practice correct insertion techniques.

For more information about UVMC’s award-winning commitment to zero infections, e-mail Noonan at anna.noonan@uvmhealth.org.

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