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Patient Safety

Penrose-St. Francis is among 45 hospitals in Colorado and 3,000 hospitals nationwide participating in the 5 Million Lives Campaign, a growing national effort to increase patient safety and reduce harm in hospitals by implementing 12 evidence-based changes in patient care.  The campaign builds on the success of the 100,000 Lives Campaign, a similar program that resulted in saving approximately 122,000 lives over an 18-month period.

Penrose-St. Francis already has significant patient safety protocols in place, but the 5 Million Lives Campaign provides us a framework and technical assistance to implement quality improvement changes that are proven to reduce error and medical harm for patients.  By ensuring consistent implementation of proven patient safety practices, we've seen immediate improvements in patient care, while creating system-wide procedures that last over time.

Each of the 45 Colorado hospitals participating in the campaign is receiving up to $50,000 from The Colorado Trust to help put some or all of the campaign's 12 evidence-based quality improvements in place, including:

  • Activating a Rapid Response Team at the first sign that a patient's condition is worsening and may lead to a more serious medical emergency.
  • Preventing patients from dying of heart attacks by delivering evidence-based care, including appropriate administration of aspirin to prevent blood clots and Beta blockers to prevent further heart attacks.
  • Preventing medication errors by ensuring that accurate and continually updated lists of patients' medications are referenced during their hospital stay, particularly at transition points.
  • Preventing patients who are receiving medicines and fluids through central lines from developing infections by following a five-step "bundle" of activities.
  • Preventing patients who are undergoing surgery from developing infections by following a series of steps, including the timely administration of antibiotics.
  • Preventing patients on ventilators from developing pneumonia by following four steps, including raising the head of the patient's bed between 30 and 40 degrees.
  • Preventing harm from high-alert medications by creating reliable systems that standardize doses, and identifying and mitigating harm when it does occur.
  • Reducing surgical complications by administering Beta blockers when needed, preventing deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) and infection.
  • Preventing pressure ulcers (also called bed sores) by monitoring patients' condition daily, decreasing pressure on patients' skin and keeping skin clean and dry.
  • Reducing Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) infection by using proper hand hygiene, cleaning patient rooms and supplies and using contact precautions.
  • Delivering reliable care for congestive heart failure by providing ACE inhibitors and anticoagulants at discharge, offering smoking cessation counseling and encouraging influenza and pneumonia immunization.
  • Engaging hospital leadership in patient safety efforts, beginning with the Board of Trustees.

 

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