AHA urges Congress to ‘invest in quality’ at HAI hearing

Testifying today for the AHA at a House hearing on healthcare-associated infections, Bob Hyzy, M.D., steering committee chair for the Michigan Health and Hospital Association’s Keystone Intensive Care Unit project, described the success of the project and urged Congress to continuing its investment in hospital quality initiatives.

 

The Keystone project estimates Michigan hospitals have saved nearly 1,500 lives and $175 million per year by voluntarily participating in the evidence-based program to reduce catheter-associated bloodstream infections, Hyzy told the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education. Among other efforts, Hyzy described how the AHA’s Health Research & Educational Trust affiliate is using $3 million in funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to implement its “On the CUSP” program in 10 states, with the goal of reducing central-line infections at participating hospitals by 80%. “Funding from AHRQ has been, and continues to be, a vital lifeline to hospitals’ ability to improve infection rates through these programs,” he stated. Hyzy added that the AHA supports voluntary reporting of infection rates through the Hospital Quality Alliance, to which more than 4,900 hospitals report quality information, and urged Congress not to “add a layer or reporting that we do not need ... [HQA] is a proven system; it works.”

 

(Sources: AHA News Now, http://ahanews.com , April 1, 2009)