Allegheny General Hospital is the only health care provider invited to share its success in combating hospital-acquired infections at a national summit in Washington, D.C. on September 9th and 10th. Medicare will soon deny payment for such infections, which cause thousands of deaths and cost billions of dollars every year.
Dr. Jerome Granato, Medical Director of the Coronary Care Unit, says the Toyota Production System used by industry revealed that variability in catheter insertion by doctors and catheter care by nurses was leaving room for error. Standardizing the process led to a decline in infections.
With the challenge of new doctors and nurses constantly joining the large teaching hospital, Dr. Granato says the training process is also crucial. Basic and renewable training and certification, as well as surveillance for adherence to approved procedures, has led to zero infections in some units and near zero in others.
The Allegheny General protocols for preventing catheter infections are now being applied to other types of hospital-acquired infections, and other health facilities can access them free of charge.