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Piedmont Hospitals Dramatically Cut Patient Infection Rates

Piedmont Reduces Infection Rates
System Officials Say DNV GL Healthcare’s Focus On Quality Improvement Was Contributing Factor
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One of the most prominent hospital systems in the Southeast was inspired by its relationship with its accrediting body to help dramatically reduce its rates of major infections. 

That’s the conclusion of a case study just released by DNV GL Healthcare, “Piedmont Healthcare: Reducing Infection Rates.” 

Staff at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital had been dissatisfied with a patient safety grade it received from an influential national healthcare quality organization. However, issues with infection control were systemwide: Piedmont’s own internal data indicated patients were more likely to acquire forms of surgical site infections, central line infections and MRSA infections from a stay at one of the system’s 11 hospitals than was predicted based on its patient case mix and overall number of beds. 

That led in part to Piedmont Healthcare contracting with DNV GL to receive accreditations to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid program. It was part of an overall strategy “to get to zero harm,” said Anna Ivory, Piedmont’s Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality. DNV GL’s focus on continuous quality improvement was also “in line with our philosophy and strategy,” she added. 

Piedmont quickly implemented a variety of initiatives intended to improve infection control. Some of them were quite simple, such as cutting the use of Foley catheters, which can lead to urinary tract infections. 

As a result, the number of UTIs, cases of clostridium difficile, MRSA and surgical site colon infections dropped dramatically. Infection rates also dropped well below the predicted case volumes. 

“What happened at the Piedmont system is not only inspiring, but demonstrates that patient infection rates at facilities throughout the U.S. could almost instantly drop with a greater focus on continuous quality improvement,” said DNV GL Healthcare President Patrick Horine. 

To obtain a copy of “Peidmont Healthcare: Reducing Infection Rates,” follow this links https://www.dnvgl.us/assurance/healthcare/healthcare-publications-research-papers.html 

Hundreds of hospitals across the United States have switched to DNV GL Healthcare over the past decade, making it the nation’s fastest-growing accrediting body, with over 500 hospitals accredited. 

“We want to identify innovative practices and approaches to address aspects that improvequality, efficiency and enhance patient care,” said Gary Davis, DNV GL Business AssuranceNorth American Regional Manager. “Our success is attributable to the unique approach we takewith our hospital customers to use the quality management system to their advantage.”