A collaborative project between hospitals and quality-improvement organizations cut the infection rate for selected surgeries by about 27%, to 1.7% from 2.3%, according to an article published today in the American Journal of Surgery. The effort, called the National Surgical Infection Prevention Collaborative, centered on improving the way antibiotics are administered as well as promoting control of glucose levels, averting hypothermia and using supplementary oxygen. The project, conducted during a one-year period beginning in March 2002, included more than 35,000 patients and chronicled results from 44 hospitals that determined individually which type of surgery to focus on for improvement. Qualis Health, the QIO for Alaska, Idaho and Washington state, led the project, which was sponsored by the CMS and relied on a model pioneered by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Similar collaborative projects have been completed or are under way in 29 states, according to the article. -- by Paul Barr
Hospital-QIO effort cuts surgical infections
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