HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is urging hospitals to follow a checklist when inserting catheters into intensive-care-unit patients to help reduce catheter-associated infections in the first of a series of “success story” reports.
The reports document programs and initiatives that HHS believes serve as models for healthcare reform. The first report highlights the checklist initiative developed by Johns Hopkins University and the Keystone Center for Patient Safety & Quality, a division of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association. The checklist project reduced the number of hospital-acquired infections and saved $200 million in 18 months, according to the HHS report.
Despite the success of the checklist initiative, the hospitals while conducting their research ran afoul of government regulators, who had first determined that the checklist had not undergone the proper research vetting process and ordered a stop on using the checklist. HHS' human research protections office later changed its ruling.