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Infection-Prevention Measurements Added to Minnesota Hospital Quality Site

Thursday, November 5, 2009 General News J E 4
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Features compare work to prevent surgical, other infections

ST. PAUL, Minn., Nov. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following release was issued today by the Minnesota Hospital Association:

New online measurements show how consistently Minnesota hospitals took recommended steps to keep patients from acquiring infections.

The Minnesota Hospital Quality Report (www.mnhospitalquality.org) added the information this month as part of an ongoing effort to make comparable information on quality public and accessible.

To combat surgical infections, for example, one best practice recommends that patients be given an antibiotic within one hour before surgery. The new data show the percentage of time that each hospital did so.

"This information allows consumers to easily see how Minnesota hospitals have worked to prevent infections -- in the operating room, at patients' bedsides and elsewhere in the hospital," said Minnesota Hospital Association President and CEO Lawrence Massa. "The initiative demonstrates our hospitals' commitment to transparency and their continued leadership in safety and quality."

The report quantifies efforts taken to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia, bloodstream infections, surgical infections and other sources of infections. Data shown were collected from January to June 2009 and the information will be updated quarterly.

The 3 1/2-year-old Minnesota Hospital Quality Report had already quantified how often hospitals implement proven safety measures to prevent heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia. Those common conditions are the most expensive to treat.

The site is operated by the hospital association and Bloomington-based nonprofit quality improvement organization Stratis Health. An advisory committee that also comprised the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology guided the infection-reporting effort, which was called for under a 2007 state law. Rep. Phyllis Kahn (DFL) was the original author and main sponsor of the legislation.

Jason George, legislative and political organizer for the IUOE Local 49, applauded the initiative.

"This new data and a more consumer-friendly Web site are important steps in the effort to reduce the number of hospital-acquired infections," George said. "The information will ultimately lead to better quality care for our members and lower costs for our union's health care fund."

Stratis Health President and CEO Jennifer Lundblad said the work is important.

"These important new measures added to the Minnesota Hospital Quality report mean that Minnesota consumers now have more information on which to base their health care decisions, and providers have more data to help support their improvement work," she said. "Stratis Health is proud to be part of a multi-stakeholder effort to make these infection data available to the public."

Surgical site infection rates for total knee replacement will be the next measures to be launched on the Minnesota Hospital Quality Report, which is expected to be available in the fall of 2010.

The Minnesota Hospital Association represents Minnesota's nonprofit hospitals and health systems (www.mnhospitals.org).

Stratis Health is a nonprofit, independent quality improvement organization that collaborates with health care providers and consumers to improve health care. The organization serves the state as Minnesota's Medicare Quality Improvement Organization. Since the advent of the quality improvement approach in the early 1990s, Stratis Health has focused on collaborative improvement work with hospitals, clinics, health plans, and most recently, nursing homes and home health agencies (www.stratishealth.org).

For a list of MHA Infection Control Advisory Committee members, visit this link:

http://www.mnhospitals.org/inc/data/pdfs/MHA-Infection-Control-Advisory-Committee-roster.pdf

SOURCE Minnesota Hospital Association
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