The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality awarded a $3 million contract to the Health Research & Educational Trust to implement a three-year program it hopes will reduce central-line-associated bloodstream infections in intensive-care units across the country.
The trust, an affiliate of the American Hospital Association, will work with hospital associations in 10 states to determine which facilities fit the criteria for implementing the program in their ICUs. The trust hopes to have at least 10 hospitals from each state using the reduction program for a minimum of 100 hospitals selected. Participants are expected to be announced by the end of the year, said John Combes, a physician who is president and chief operating officer of the Center for Healthcare Governance of the AHA and interim president of the trust. The AHRQ announced the contract, effective through Sept. 29, 2011, during a teleconference held today.
The infection-reduction program was designed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University and first implemented in hospitals in Michigan. The trust, which hopes to reduce bloodstream infection rates by 80% in the next three years, is partnering with the Johns Hopkins University Quality & Safety Research Group and the Michigan Health & Hospital Associations Keystone Center for Patient Safety & Quality to expand the program through the AHRQ contract. The money will be used to train staff in evidence-based central-line techniques and patient-safety principles as well as to implement cultural changes and collect data to analyze whether the facilities see infection-rate reductions as a result of the program, Combes said.
According to the AHRQ, there are about 250,000 patients a year who acquire a central-line-associated bloodstream infection, and 30,000 to 62,000 of those die as a result. The CMS will no longer pay for bloodstream infections as part of its new nonreimbursement policy for hospital-acquired conditions, which went into effect today. -- by Jean DerGurahian
What do you think? Post a comment on this article and share your opinion with other readers. Submit your comments to Modern Healthcare Online at [email protected]. Please be sure to include your hometown and state, along with your organization and title.