Valley Children’s Hospital is now ranked in the top 10% of all hospitals in the country in preventing one of the most common types of healthcare-related infections. Valley Children’s recently marked one full year without a Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI), eliminating a harmful and often painful complication for patients. The Centers for Disease Control’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) confirms our ranking in the top tier of hospitals. The NHSN is the nation’s most widely used healthcare-associated infection tracking system, monitoring more than 17,000 medical facilities around the country.
“Going a year without this type of harm event means that for our team of caregivers, nothing is more important than the safe care of a child,” says Dr. Karen Dahl, Valley Children’s vice president, quality and patient safety. “This shows that by doing the right thing, day after day, child after child, we can improve the outcomes for our patients. We’re serious about patient safety and we won’t take shortcuts. We work together as a team with the goal of zero harm for every patient every day.”
An interdisciplinary team of pediatric specialists, nurses and infection prevention experts at Valley Children’s began working toward eliminating CAUTIs throughout the Hospital. They started in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) - where most of those events were identified - due to the large number of patients who needed catheters. The team implemented an “evidence-based prevention bundle.” Patients with catheters are evaluated daily to determine whether the device is still medically necessary. The team of physicians and staff follows a set of safety measures each and every day aimed at reducing the risk for infection. As soon they determine the catheter is not needed, it’s removed.
Valley Children’s Director of Quality and Patient Safety Raed Khoury says, “I am so proud of the team and how they collaborated together to eliminate what is considered a serious harm event to our kids.”
“But our work doesn’t stop here,” adds Dr. Dahl. “We must continuously strive to stay at zero for this and all other measures of patient safety.”
Last year, The California Department of Public Health recognized Valley Children’s for significantly reducing Central Line-Associated Blood Stream Infections (CLABSI) by 51%. Valley Children’s has also shown declines in the number of Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia Diagnoses, Pressure Ulcers and Whole System Measure Codes.
“I couldn’t be more proud that Valley Children’s reached this latest milestone,” says Valley Children’s President and CEO Todd Suntrapak. “I’m a fierce advocate of increased transparency – it’s the foundation for the kind of accountability that results in higher clinical quality. Our no. 1 priority remains providing the highest quality patient care and these metrics really highlight our efforts.”
Valley Children’s is committed to sharing quality metrics internally and publically. Data that shows our strengths and opportunities is always available online.