CLABSI prevention saves a hospital $1.1 million a year

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Intravenous literature: Infection Control Today report “A quality improvement program that saves lives by dramatically reducing potentially lethal bloodstream infections in hospital intensive-care units across the state of Michigan also saves those hospitals an average of $1.1 million a year, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.

As policymakers frantically search for ways to cut healthcare costs, the findings also give weight to those who have long suggested that reducing preventable harm isn’t just good for patient safety, but also the bottom line, the researchers say. In the Michigan program, there was a tenfold return on investment, they say.

“We already knew that the Michigan project saved lives and reduced infections,” said Peter J. Pronovost, MD, PhD, director of Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and leader of the study described in the September/October issue of the American Journal of Medical Quality. “Now we know that by preventing infections, hospitals actually save money too.”

The new study showed that each central line-associated bloodstream infection in Michigan costs a hospital an average of $36,500 to treat. Implementing the patient safety program cost roughly $3,375 per infection averted between 2003 and 2005. The cost of putting the program in place, mostly in devoted staff time, was an average of $161,000 per hospital.”

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