Blue Shield of California Foundation Awards $990,000 to Save Lives by Reducing Infections in California Hospitals


SAN FRANCISCO -- The Blue Shield of California Foundation today gave $990,000 to 11 California hospitals to participate in a demonstration program aimed at preventing hospital-acquired infections. Such infections are responsible for an estimated 9,000 deaths, causing an additional $2.4 billion in healthcare costs, in California each year.

Receiving grants in the amount of $90,000 each are:

Anaheim Memorial Medical Center                             

California Hospital Medical Center                              

City of Hope National Medical Center                        

Enloe Medical Center                                           

Kaiser Foundation Hospital                                       

Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center                    

Paradise Valley Hospital                                       

Saint Agnes Medical Center                                      

San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center               

Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital                                  

University of California, San Francisco Medical Center   

Based on a successful program in Alabama, the foundation is partnering with Birmingham-based MedMined Inc. to use its Data Mining Surveillance technology to identify where and when infections may originate early enough for hospital staff to change their practices to reduce unnecessary illness, length of stay, cost and most importantly, death.

"Usually, inspections discover what went wrong after the fact," said Crystal Hayling, president and CEO of the Blue Shield of California Foundation. "This technology will revolutionize hospital practices, allowing real-time monitoring and control to keep infections from occurring in the first place."

Currently, healthcare-acquired infections cause 88,000 deaths per year nationwide. They affect 5 percent to 10 percent of all hospital admissions, are responsible for 50 percent of all hospital complications and add an average of 8.7 extra days of hospital care per case. Other pilots using the Data Mining Surveillance technology have reduced infection rates by 10 percent to 20 percent and saved hospitals $4 for every $1 they invest in preventing hospital-acquired infections.

The $990,000 in awards announced today represents just some of the millions of dollars in grants given each year by the Blue Shield of California Foundation. In July, the foundation gave $800,000 to support California hospitals enrolled in the Institute for Health Improvement 100,000 Lives Campaign, which is seeking to extend or save 100,000 lives nationwide each year by improving hospital practices.

Source: Blue Shield of California


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