In an ongoing effort to improve patient safety, the University of Tennessee Medical Center (UT Medical Center) of Knoxville, Tenn., will utilize the Premier healthcare alliances SafetyConnect patient safety program complete with the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network (DICON)'s online educational modules.
Premiers SafetyConnect helps to safely reduce hospital costs, protects patients more effectively and helps prevent Medicare payment penalties under the new value-based purchasing healthcare legislation by working to reduce healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).
DICON, a collaboration of the Duke University School of Medicine and 39 community hospitals, provides physician and nurse educational tools designed to engage and empower hospital personnel to take an active role in reducing HAIs.
"The University of Tennessee Medical Center is committed to driving improvements in quality, safety and cost on behalf of our patients and the community," says David Hall, senior vice president and chief operating officer at UT Medical Center. "By utilizing SafetySurveillor and DICON we can better achieve our goals to offer the best patient care in infection control and harm avoidance."
As part of SafetyConnect, UT Medical Center will utilize SafetySurveillor®, Premiers automated solution helping to prevent HAIs and optimize antibiotic use. The medical center currently benefits from quality and cost improvement solutions in Premiers QualityConnect and LaborConnect programs.
Says DICON medical director Dan Sexton, "Reducing infections and antimicrobial resistance is a struggle for hospitals everywhere. DICON exists to advance efforts that improve quality of care, enhance patient safety, and minimize costs by using evidence-based approaches to infection control."
Hospitals that have used DICONs evidence-based resources achieved reductions in HAIs ranging from 18 percent to 40 percent in such areas as MRSA, bloodstream infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia.
SafetySurveillor helped providers reduce infection rates leading to decreases in mortality and length of stay for infection cases while reducing costs; reduction in urinary tract infections; quicker intervention with appropriate drug therapy for critical patients; and reduced costs through the elimination of unnecessary MRSA screening for ICU patients.
DICON provides training courses for nurses and physicians containing valuable, updated information on evidence-based practices for properly inserting, accessing, maintaining and removing central venous catheters (CVCs). These courses provide hospitals with an economical, practical and effective way to meet important parts of the National Patient Safety Goals. DICON also provides hospitals with prevention initiatives on catheter-associated UTIs and Clostridium difficile and training videos for hand hygiene adherence.
SafetyConnect includes a comprehensive offering of data analytics and software, performance improvement support services and collaborative knowledge sharing opportunities to improve ongoing infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship efforts. To enhance the program as well as increase operational and financial performance, Premier partnered with DICON in December 2008.
SafetyConnect also utilizes Premiers Performance Improvement Portal, a library of performance improvement advice and best practices; evidence-based toolkits addressing issues such as antimicrobial stewardship; and resources from the publicly accessible Premier Safety Institute, which provides safety resources and tools to promote a safe healthcare delivery environment for patients, workers and their communities.