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Intensive Care Unit honored for Best Practices

At VHA Inc's East Coast Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Rapid Adoption Network (RAN) Celebration, 16 hospitals across New Jersey and Pennsylvania came together to focus on improving care for patients in intensive care units (ICUs). The hospitals have joined what is known as a Rapid Adoption Network (RAN), a virtual network that allows them to share information about their clinical practices for the purpose of accelerating the pace of clinical improvement, cutting improvement time to less than one year.

VHA honored ICU teams that met their goal with the "Team Best Practice Awards." The awards honored five of the 16 teams that demonstrated best practices in their struggles to make the goal a reality.

The Chester County Hospital's team won the following awards:

  • Goal Achievement in Blood Stream Infection Rate Improvement
  • Goal Achievement in Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP) Improvement
  • Team Best Practice Award for VAP

Patients in the ICU are at higher risk for infections and other complications - blood stream infections, catheter-related infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia -
which lengthen the hospital stay and threaten patients lives. The Chester County Hospital team developed an innovative approach to sedation and weaning (SSSh Protocol) to improve the overall care of the ventilated patients in the ICU. It has also sustained zero VAP for almost two years.

"Hospitals continue to work with VHA to improve care for our sickest and most vulnerable ICU patient population. The ICU RAN project provides us with an opportunity to network and collaborate with clinicians in neighboring hospitals to improve processes of care and thus optimize ICU patient outcomes," said Dianne Lanham, patient safety and quality officer at The Chester County Hospital.

Suzanne Henrick, ICU Director said, "All of the frontline staff in both the ICU and Respiratory departments have worked to prevent VAP. Special thanks should be given to the VAP Hospital of Distinction team, which has worked on the development and implementation of a protocol that resulted in the unit being awarded the 'Team Best Practice Award' for VAP."

The people on the Hospital's team were Evelyn Easter, clinical manager of the ICU; Dena Rocchio, unit based critical care director; Steve Mosakowski, assistant director of Respiratory Care Services; Matt Buffler, clinical manager of Respiratory Care Services; Dr. Don Emery, medical director of the ICU, and Suzanne Henrick, director of the ICU.

VHA Inc., the national health care alliance, sponsors the RAN. A unifying focal point for the RAN will be the clinical blueprint VHA has developed to help its members improve performance in ICUs.

About VHA
VHA Inc., based in Irving, Texas, is a national network of not-for-profit health care organizations that work together to drive maximum savings in the supply chain arena, set new levels of clinical performance, and identify and implement best practices to improve operational efficiency and clinical outcomes. Formed in 1977, VHA serves more than 1,400 hospitals and more than 23,000 non-acute care providers nationwide.

Last Updated: 8/18/2009