A quality-improvement program involving intensive-care units at more than 70 hospitals saved 1,578 lives, $165.5 million in healthcare costs and 81,020 hospital days between March 2004 and June 2005, according to the organizers. "Keystone: ICU," a joint effort of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association and Johns Hopkins University Quality and Safety Research Group, targeted 127 ICUs, largely at Michigan hospitals. Three hospitals in Iowa, one in Indiana and one in California also participated. The ICUs reduced central-line infections nearly 50%, and 68 of the ICUs reported no cases of bloodstream infection and no cases of ventilator-associated pneumonia for at least six months. Researchers estimated the number of lives and hospital days saved based on the typical frequency of the conditions and associated mortality and length of stay. Cost savings were based on average costs at a sample of Michigan hospitals. -- by Andis Robeznieks
Organizers say ICU quality effort saved lives, money
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