VHA Joins IHI's 100,000 Lives Campaign; VHA to Promote Campaign Through New and Existing Initiatives

Jan 06, 2005, 00:00 ET from VHA Inc.

    IRVING, Texas, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- VHA Inc., a national alliance of
 more than 2,200 not-for-profit health care organizations, has joined the
 Institute for Healthcare Improvement's 100,000 Lives Campaign as a partner.
     The IHI campaign encourages hospitals to apply known best practices for
 clinical care in order to save 100,000 patient lives over the next 18 months,
 and to save 100,000 annually thereafter.  Don Berwick, M.D., president and
 chief executive officer of IHI said, "IHI's partnership with VHA lends
 tremendous leverage to this national campaign.  VHA's capacity is second to
 none in helping literally hundreds of organizations and thousands of
 clinicians to make changes that matter in patients' lives and safety."
     "Hospitals have the power and the knowledge to improve the quality of the
 care they offer patients, and we believe this campaign will serve as a
 catalyst to help hospitals maintain their focus providing the best care, every
 day for every patient," said Stuart B. Baker, M.D., executive vice president
 at VHA.  Baker believes that participation in the campaign will reinforce the
 critical importance of rigorously following routines and processes that are
 sometimes downplayed or ignored in hectic health care environments where
 staffing and workload can be significant issues.  "Too often we rely on
 technology to save the day in health care, when in reality, consistent
 performance of very basic care maneuvers has the greatest impact on patient
 outcomes," said Baker.
     VHA has for several years been heavily involved in clinical improvement
 initiatives that focus on the areas being targeted by the IHI campaign.  For
 example, hundreds of member hospitals participate in VHA programs like Women's
 Heart Advantage, Transformation of the ICU, and various regional initiatives
 targeting surgical infections and medication usage.  In fact, some VHA
 initiatives have been nationally recognized as solutions that health care
 organizations can use to address the problems being targeted by the IHI
     Through the 100,000 Lives Campaign, IHI, VHA and the other campaign
 partners will disseminate powerful improvement tools, with supporting
 expertise, throughout the American health care system.  This campaign aims to
 enlist thousands of hospitals across the country in an effort to implement
 changes in care that have been proven to prevent avoidable deaths.
     The campaign focuses on getting hospitals to:
      *  Deploy Rapid Response Teams ... at the first sign of patient decline
      *  Deliver Reliable, Evidence-Based Care for Acute Myocardial Infarction
         ... to prevent deaths from heart attack
      *  Prevent Adverse Drug Events ... by implementing medication
      *  Prevent Central Line Infections ... by implementing a series of
         interdependent, scientifically grounded steps called the "Central Line
      *  Prevent Surgical Site Infections ... by reliably delivering the
         correct perioperative antibiotics at the proper time
      *  Prevent Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia ... by implementing a series
         of interdependent, scientifically-grounded steps called the
         "Ventilator Bundle"
     About VHA
     VHA Inc., based in Irving, Texas, is a national cooperative of leading
 not-for-profit health care organizations that work together to improve the
 health of the communities they serve.  VHA leverages the collective strength
 of the membership to improve clinical, operational and financial performance.
 Through the VHA cooperative, members access resources that help them assess
 critical needs and identify best practices to create customized solutions that
 lower costs and improve clinical quality.  As a cooperative, VHA distributes
 income annually to members based on their participation.
      Lynn Gentry