Hospital associations in 10 States have been selected to participate in a program to test methods of reducing central-line associated blood stream infections in hospital intensive care units (ICUs), according to the Department of Health & Human Services' (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The States are California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. In addition, the California Hospital Patient Safety Organization, the North Carolina Center for Hospital Quality and Patient Safety, and the Ohio Patient Safety Institute will participate in the project. The hospital associations and patient safety groups were chosen to participate based on their capability and infrastructure to implement the safety protocols being tested in the project. In addition, they provide a broad geographic representation.
Last October, AHRQ awarded a 3-year, $3 million contract to the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET), an affiliate of the American Hospital Association, to coordinate the project. The project will continue the work that originated at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore and was later implemented statewide in Michigan by the Johns Hopkins Quality and Safety Research Group and the Michigan Health & Hospital Association. The project will implement a comprehensive unit-based patient safety program across the 10 States to help prevent infections related to the use of central line catheters. Central venous catheters or central line catheters are tubes placed into a large vein in a patient's neck, chest or groin to administer medication or fluids or to collect blood samples.
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(SOURCE: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, http://ahqr.gov, February 19, 2009)