Bronson Succeeds at Preventing Hospital-Acquired Infections - Bronson Healthcare

Published on June 10, 2008

Bronson Methodist Hospital has been recognized for providing excellent care to patients in its intensive care units (ICU) by VHA Inc., a national healthcare alliance. The 2008 VHA Leadership Award for Clinical Excellence honors organizations that have distinguished themselves from other VHA member hospitals by meeting or exceeding national performance standards.

“Critically ill patients in the ICU are at high risk for developing serious complications, such as ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP),” said Gabriel Pedraza, M.D., Bronson medical director, adult critical care service. “These types of infections often decrease survival rates, lengthen hospital stays and are very costly to the healthcare system. Through teamwork and implementing an evidence-based multidisciplinary approach, we were able to attain outcomes that were once thought as unachievable.”

Bronson is one of 49 VHA-member hospitals to be recognized for preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia in patients in the intensive care unit. VHA serves more than 1,400 not-for-profit hospitals nationwide. To receive the award in this category, Bronson had to demonstrate its ICUs applied specific processes to eliminate or reduce the risk for ventilator-associated pneumonia. The standard for eliminating infections was zero cases of ventilator-associated pneumonia over at least a continuous 12-month time period, which Bronson exceeded by not having one for 31 straight months.

“Intensive care patients are extremely vulnerable to infections,” said Trent Haywood, M.D., J.D., chief medical officer at VHA. “Bronson has achieved what was once thought of as unattainable, zero cases of VAP over a long period of time. That’s quite an accomplishment for a hospital that is treating increasingly more critical patients.”

“Our participation with organizations like VHA, Michigan Hospital Association’s Keystone Collaborative, and others allows us to measure our performance and share our experiences with other top hospitals in the nation,” said Cheryl Knapp, Bronson vice president of quality and safety. “We are honored that our improvements have been recognized nationally, but we will not rest on our laurels. We’ll continue to strive not only for zero ventilator associated infections, but minimize the risk for all hospital acquired infections in all of our intensive care units.”

Each year two million people – one out of every 20 who obtain care at an American hospital – contract an infection during their care; 90,000 of them die. On average, hospital acquired infections add more than $15,000 to a patient’s hospital bill, amounting to more than $30 billion a year wasted on avoidable costs.

In addition to this recognition, VHA has also recognized Bronson with its 2007 Leadership Award for Clinical Excellence based on performance at the 90 percent or above level on clinical core measures in surgical complications and infection prevention, as well as its 2005 & 2007 Leadership Award for operational excellence.

About Bronson Methodist Hospital

Bronson Methodist Hospital, located at 601 John St. in downtown Kalamazoo, Mich., is the flagship of Bronson Healthcare Group, a not-for-profit healthcare system serving all of southwest Michigan and northern Indiana. With 380 licensed beds and all private rooms, Bronson Methodist Hospital provides care in virtually every specialty—cardiology, orthopedics, surgery, emergency medicine, neurology, oncology—with advanced capabilities in critical care as a Level I Trauma Center; in neurological care as a Joint Commission certified Primary Stroke Center; in cardiac care as the region’s first accredited Chest Pain Emergency Center; in obstetrics as the leading BirthPlace and only high-risk pregnancy center in southwest Michigan, and in pediatrics as one of only four children's hospitals in the state. The hospital is the recipient of the 2005 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's highest presidential honor for quality and organizational performance excellence, and was named one of the nation's 100 Top Hospitals for 2005 by Solucient.

Bronson Healthcare Group is one of Kalamazoo’s largest employers and has been ranked for five consecutive years by Working Mother magazine as one of the nation’s 100 best companies to work for. Annually, Bronson provides more than $37 million in community benefits through outreach and charitable care for the un- and under-insured. Bronson also serves the largest percentage of Medicaid patients of any Michigan hospital outside of southeast Michigan.

About VHA Inc.

VHA Inc., based in Irving, Texas, is a national alliance that provides industry-leading supply chain management services and supports the formation of regional and national networks to help members improve their clinical and economic performance. With 16 offices across the United States, VHA has a track record of proven results in serving more than 1,400 not-for-profit hospitals and more than 21,000 non-acute care organizations nationwide.