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The Chester County Hospital Receives National Award for Innovative Solutions to Improve Care

Released: October 1, 2010

The Chester County Hospital received the "Health IT Innovation Award" for use of a Business Process Management (BPM) system to reduce catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) in a patient population with indwelling urinary catheters in an acute care setting. This award was featured in the cover-story article of the September issue of CMIO Magazine along with 4 other featured health IT projects that improved care.

The article noted that "This type of technology has rarely been applied to the clinical care setting. The work at The Chester County Hospital convincingly demonstrates that BPM can improve efficiency, consistency and outcomes in the acute-care setting."

"This project was set forth because CAUTI is associated with increased morbidity, mortality, hospital cost and length of stay," notes Ray Hess, Vice President, Information Management, The Chester County Hospital. "We realized the most effective way for us to minimize CAUTI is to limit and track the use of urinary catheters electronically."

"We began by promoting the use of alternatives to catheter placement and removed standing orders for urinary catheters where possible," says Karen Pinsky, MD, Chief Medical Information Officer, The Chester County Hospital. "We then implemented a BPM to track all patients with urinary catheters and provide daily prompts for clinicians to re-evaluate the need for the catheter."

The system also monitors nursing documentation and the length of time catheters are in place for each patient. Precise real-time reports are generated and a decision support alert is directed to all physicians caring for patients with an indwelling urinary catheter.

Through the innovative use of BPM combined with nursing and physician education and cooperation, the Hospital rate of CAUTI was reduced by over 50%. The rate dropped from 5.61 infections per 1,000 catheter days in the 12 months before the implementation of the BPM to 2.74 infections per 1,000 catheter days after the system was fully deployed.
"This was a team effort," notes Dr. Pinsky. "Without the cooperation and hard work of physicians and the nursing staff, the potential of the new system many not have been fully realized. We commend their hard work and dedication to ensuring the most effective and safe care is provided to our patients."

View complete CMIO article

Last Updated: 10/5/2010