Six Pennsylvania hospitals receive grants to tackle hospital-acquired infections

The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) have announced that six Pennsylvania hospitals will receive grants for demonstration projects to quantify the costs, and to reduce the number, of hospital-acquired infections.

The six grantees are;

  • Charles Cole Memorial Hospital (Potter County),
  • Hamot Medical Center (Erie County),
  • Holy Spirit Hospital (Cumberland County),
  • Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network (Lehigh County),
  • Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (Philadelphia County)
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (Allegheny County).

"The Council is pleased that these six hospitals are stepping up to the plate, and looking at new ways to reduce hospital-acquired infections," said Marc P. Volavka, Executive Director of PHC4. "By analyzing the way they provide care, these hospitals can save lives and curb the extended hospital stays and additional hospital charges associated with these infections."

Expressing her congratulations, Karen Wolk Feinstein, President of JHF, stated, "The groundbreaking work pioneered by Dr. Rick Shannon and the staff at Allegheny General Hospital will be the model used for these projects. The work done jointly by the Pittsburgh Regional Healthcare Initiative and the VA, as well as Dr. Shannon, should serve as a model for collaborative, quality improvement efforts."

All Pennsylvania acute care hospitals were eligible to apply for this funding opportunity. The selected grantees will implement projects that reduce the number of surgical site infections, Foley catheter-associated urinary tract infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia and central line- associated bloodstream infections, ventriculostomy and/or medically resistant staph infections (MRSA). In addition, the hospitals must be willing to consider zero infections as the benchmark, and provide data analysis that shows the differences in the number and cost of infections between current and improved protocols. While individual grant amounts have not been determined, the total amount available for grants is $150,000.

Last month, PHC4 released a landmark research brief, Hospital-acquired Infections in Pennsylvania, in which Pennsylvania hospitals reported 11,668 confirmed hospital-acquired infections in 2004. The hospital admissions in which these infections occurred were associated with 1,793 deaths, an estimated 205,000 extra hospital days, and $2 billion in additional hospital charges. These numbers are out of a total of 1.5 million discharges from 173 general acute care hospitals.

Pennsylvania is the first state in the nation to begin collecting and publicly reporting information about hospital-acquired infections. Beginning in 2004, hospitals were required to start submitting data on the four types of hospital-acquired infections that are also being looked at in the demonstration projects. As of January 1, 2006, hospitals will be required to submit data on all hospital-acquired infections to PHC4.

Copies of PHC4's new research brief are free and can be ordered by calling the Council at 717-232-6787. They also can be downloaded from PHC4's Web site at http://www.phc4.org/.

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