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Hospitals report drops in pressure ulcers, harmful falls

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 13, 2013

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A statewide initiative has helped New Jersey hospitals make big strides in protecting patients from harm during their stays, according to an April 30 report released by the state’s hospital association.

The biggest progress came in preventing pressure ulcers, which dropped 65% from the baseline January 2012 rate of 4.09% to 1.42% in January 2013. The 62 hospitals participating in the initiative, organized by the New Jersey Hospital Assn. Institute for Quality and Patient Safety, also saw a drop of 55% in falls resulting in patient harm. Rates of ventilator-associated pneumonia fell 46%, adverse drug events decreased 34% and central-line associated bloodstream infections declined 30%, said the report (link).

To achieve the results, hospitals implemented “tried-and-tested, evidence-based best practices,” said Aline Holmes, RN, director of the institute. The initiative is being funded through a two-year contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as part of the Dept. of Health and Human Services’ Partnership for Patients initiative.

The rate of surgical-site infections dropped about 25%, while catheter-associated urinary tract infections fell 18%. Rates of early, elective deliveries did not change, but most hospitals have now changed their policies so that such deliveries are no longer scheduled.

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