Hospital-acquired conditions (HACs)—such as central line-associated blood stream infections (CLASBIs) and pressure ulcers (PUs)—cause harm and adversely affect patients’ lives, while also increasing hospital length of stay (LOS) and total hospital costs. In fact, each case of CLABSI alone costs up to $55,000 to treat and makes health systems vulnerable to reimbursement penalties.1
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin (CHW), a nationally ranked pediatric center with two hospitals and a surgery center, recognized that reducing the rate of HACs in its facilities would require major systematic changes. CHW’s approach to transforming care to prevent HACs included cultural changes with an emphasis on staff education and engagement and a new governance structure to support the initiative. These changes were powered by high-tech tools and quicker access to new types of data that CHW didn’t have in the past.
The hospital’s implementation of its comprehensive and collaborative HAC reduction plan has resulted in measurable quality of care improvements and cost reductions, including:
$1.6 million savings realized to date as a result of a 30 percent reduction in the overall number of HACs
23 percent reduction in central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs)
74 percent reduction of pressure ulcers (PUs)
68 percent reduction in venous thromboembolisms (VTEs)