This story originally appeared in IHI's 2006 Progress Report.
The human and financial cost of hospital-acquired infection is huge. At Allegheny General Hospital, a 580-bed teaching hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a sharp focus on preventing infection has resulted in significant savings in both categories.
“We began with a focus on prevention and accurate diagnosis of nosocomial infections,” says Sharon Kiely, MD, Chief of Clinical Quality. “In managing complex, very sick patients our staff learned that a multidisciplinary approach was necessary to reduce infection, as well as targeting appropriate treatment to the patient.”
Leaders at Allegheny General estimate that patients diagnosed with VAP average a 34-day stay, with a net loss to the hospital of $24,435 after reimbursement; patients diagnosed with CLI average a 28-day stay, at an operating loss of $26,839. For an investment of about $35,000 in improvement work, Shannon estimates that the hospital experienced a $2 million improvement.