Hospitals Going Back to Basics

More and more hospitals are going back to basics to improve patient outcomes. Houston Public Radio's Capella Tucker has more on the 100-thousand lives campaign.

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The goal is to prevent 100-thousand unnecessary deaths in hospitals. The campaign focuses on a half dozen relatively simple things hospitals can do to prevent infections during certain procedures and providing additional resources. Texas Medical Association President Doctor Robert Gunby says one example is to not use a razor to shave patient's skin before surgery.

Gumby says another area has to deal with how catheters are inserted, which in standard practice has about a two-percent chance of infection.

And that's the point ... the fewer infections the better the experience is for the patient and the more cost effective it is for the hospital not having to deal with complications from a procedure.

Two of Memorial Hermann Hospitals have been following the recommendations for preventing ventilator associated pnumonias.

Saint Luke's Episcopal Hospital System has seen similar results. One initiative was a rapid response team to assist the bedside nurses. It's led to a 40 percent decrease for in-hospital cardiac arrests. Three-thousand hospitals across the country have signed on to the campaign with about 145 of those in Texas. Texas Medical Foundation Health Quality Institute C-E-O Bill Gamel says all hospitals can make a difference.

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