S. Carolina hospitals join to fight healthcare associated infections

South Carolina’s private and university research hospitals are banding together to identify and curb hospital infections, the group announced today. Curbing infections could save the state’s hospitals as much as $40 million a year and reduce the length of stay of patients by up to 24,000 days annually, according to the newly formed South Carolina Healthcare Quality Trust. The trust is a partnership of Health Sciences South Carolina, S.C. Hospital Association and the Premier healthcare alliance, which offers purchasing networks and clinical and financial information to 2,100 not-for-profit hospitals nationwide.

According to The State, the partners will invest more than $1.7 million over three years. The trust plans to create a Web site where hospitals can research the causes and prevention of healthcare-related infections and track their progress against national standards. Later, the trust wants to tackle improvements in treatment of illnesses including diabetes, cancer and heart disease. The trust said this is the first time a state’s university research hospitals are teaming with the members of a state hospital trade association. The trust estimates that $40 million each year is spent treating patients who acquire a hospital infection.


The newly created South Carolina Healthcare Quality Trust, a collaboration of the South Carolina Hospital Association, Health Sciences South Carolina, and Premier healthcare alliance, will invest $1.7 million over three years into the effort. The trust intends to create a Web site to aid state hospitals' research in the prevention of HAIs as well as benchmark their rates with national averages. In future years, the trust hopes to expand to treatment of other diseases.


(Sources: HCPro Patient Safety Monitor, http://hcpro.com, February 11, 2009)