Johns Hopkins-AHRQ Collaboration to Reduce Hospital-Acquired Infections Selects UHC

Hospitals Nationwide to Aid in Effort to Curb Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

Dec 10, 2013, 18:23 ET from UHC

CHICAGO, Dec. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- UHC announced its selection as a coordinating entity for a 3-year, $7.3 million contract from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) that has been awarded to the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality to reduce ventilator-associated pneumonia in hospitals. The Armstrong Institute will lead the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) for ventilator-associated conditions and work in partnership with the Michigan Health & Hospital Association Keystone Center and coordinating entities such as UHC to extend this vital research project's reach.

Ventilator-associated pneumonia is the most lethal of all hospital-acquired infections and affects about 250,000 patients each year. Through UHC's involvement, CUSP can bring its proven checklist for reducing ventilator-associated pneumonia to hospitals nationwide.

"This CUSP project will allow UHC members to further contribute to the critical goal of reducing ventilator-associated pneumonia," said Julie Cerese, UHC vice president, Performance Improvement. "We look forward to engaging our member hospitals and health systems as we strive to improve the quality and safety of patient care throughout the nation."

UHC leaders in performance improvement will serve on the project's planning committee and study design group. The project correlates with performance improvement efforts currently being led by UHC's work as a national Hospital Engagement Network, in which 79 hospitals currently participate. Since UHC's Hospital Engagement Network launch in 2012, these hospitals have made significant strides in performance improvement, including a 16% reduction in ventilator-associated pneumonia. UHC will use its specialized services in performance improvement to support CUSP and aid the Department of Health and Human Services' national action plan to prevent health care–associated infections.

The CUSP project for ventilator-associated conditions will begin in early 2014 and has an estimated duration of 2 years. It will use National Healthcare Safety Network data when possible. For more information on UHC's involvement in CUSP, contact Cathy Krsek, UHC senior director, Imperatives for Quality, at (312) 775-4238 or

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