Oregon hospitals improve quality and patient safety, report shows

Nov. 2, 2017

Oregon hospitals continued their improvement toward eliminating healthcare-associated infections that are reported to the state, according to a report released by the Oregon Health Authority. The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems said the report highlights the continued success Oregon hospitals have had in improving clinical quality and patient safety. Supporting that assertion was the release of a national report on hospital safety by the Leapfrog group on Oct. 31, which showed Oregon’s hospitals moving the state from 48th best in their hospital safety rankings in 2012 to 8th best in the most recent edition.

The Oregon Health Authority’s 2016 Healthcare-Associated Infections Report shows that Oregon hospitals continued to reduce infections, including a 50% reduction in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), a 30% reduction in hospital-onset Clostridium difficile infections (CDI), and 25% reductions in catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), surgical site infections (SSI), and hospital-onset MRSA bloodstream infections (BSI).

Oregon hospitals are better than the national baseline for all reported infection types. They also met or exceeded targets set by the Department of Health and Human Services in nine of the reported infection types.

In an effort to spread a culture of safety, Oregon healthcare providers have participated in initiatives that address accountability and improved practices. For instance, fifty-two of Oregon’s 62 hospitals took part in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Partnership for Patients (PfP) initiative, which aimed to reduce preventable harm by 40% and readmissions by 20%. Since beginning their Partnership for Patients work, hospitals working with OAHHS achieved a 40% or greater reduction in CAUTI, CLABSI, surgical site infections, ventilator-associated complications, and early elective deliveries.

The PfP work was accomplished primarily during 2014-2016 and helped lay the foundation to maintain sustained efforts in Oregon hospital patient safety.

Patients are important partners in helping to keep themselves well. They can reduce the risk of infection by taking all the pre-hospitalization infection prevention steps their doctors recommend, such as a pre-surgical antibacterial shower or bath, not shaving before surgery, and stopping smoking. They should also take antibiotics and other medications exactly as directed by their doctors, and ask their visitors to clean their hands before visiting and to stay home if they are sick.

The Oregon Healthcare-Associated Infections Report stems from legislation passed in 2007 to create a mandatory reporting program to raise awareness, promote transparency for healthcare consumers, and motivate healthcare providers to prioritize prevention.

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