But take a look anyway, if you have an interest in process improvement in hospitals. This is a collection of my best posts on this topic.

Friday, February 16, 2007

We saved one person's life. Can we keep it going?

Here is the latest month's result in our program to eliminate central line infection rates. Remember, this is measured in cases per thousand patient days in our ICUs. For the full story, view my postings on December 17 and January 23.

This month's figure covers 1853 patient days. If we had had our previous average of "3" in January, five to six people would have had an infection. Statistically speaking, one would have likely died. It could have been anybody's mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, or son. It is MUCH better this way! Let's see if we can keep it going.

Month ----- Infection Rate
Oct 05 ----- 1.67
Nov 05 ----- 1.28
Dec 05 ----- 2.43
Jan 06 ----- 3.07
Feb 06 ----- 1.40
Mar 06 ----- 1.07
Apr 06 ----- 0.00
May 06 ----- 0.59
Jun 06 ----- 1.15
Jul 06 ----- 0.57
Aug 06 ----- 3.03
Sep 06 ----- 2.50
Oct 06 ----- 0.00
Nov 06 ----- 2.38
Dec 06 ----- 1.87
Jan 07 ----- 0.00

Can I ask a question? If I can post these rates for BIDMC, why can't people from other hospitals? Cleve, Charlie, and Jim: Why can't the insurance companies (Blue Cross, Harvard Pilgrim, and Tufts) post them? Governor Patrick and Secretary Bigby: Why can't the state of Massachusetts? And, where are the public health advocates on this topic? As I have shown, the data are collected regularly. I am seeking no competitive advantage here. This is an attempt to get past a culture of blame and litigation and persuade people that transparency works: Real-time public disclosure of key indicators like this (not the untimely publication of "process" metrics) can be mutually instructive and can help provide an incentive to all of us to do better.

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