Three years ago, only 48% of surgical patients received antibiotics within an hour of incision and just 11% had them discontinued within 24 hours at Monongahela (Pa.) Valley Hospital, a 253-bed stand-alone facility. The rate of those who received the appropriate antibiotic--89%--did not provide much comfort, either.
"The numbers are frightening," says Kathy Liberatore, infection-control manager.
In May, the hospital achieved an average compliance of 95% receiving the appropriate antibiotic, 91% getting it within an hour of surgery and 91% having the antibiotic discontinued within 24 hours. "We got the IVs out of the patients quicker, and that got them up and moving quicker. That had a lot of positive effects," Liberatore says.
The biggest positive: reducing the number of surgical-site infections from 10 to three annually over the past three years, saving the hospital $25,000. For these results, Monongahela Valley has earned the Spirit of Excellence quality honorable mention.