Johnson City Medical Center was recognized this week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Society of Critical Care Medicine with an Outstanding Leadership Award for the hospital’s achievement in preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia.
HHS partnered with the Critical Care Societies Collaborative to develop an awards program to recognize health care organizations that have demonstrated success in preventing health care-associated infections, specifically in critical care settings. Awards are given on two levels: The Outstanding Leadership Award is given to teams and organizations that reach their infection prevention targets for 25 months or more. The Sustained Improvement Award is given to teams and organizations that show consistent and sustained progress over an 18- to 24-month period.
JCMC was one of only six hospitals in the nation recognized for outstanding leadership in preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia. The other winners in that category were Baylor University Medical Center Truett ICU in Dallas; Seton Medical Center in Daly City, Calif.; St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in New York; and St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston.
The VAP rate at JCMC is now a tenth of what it was in 2005, and one-third of what is typically found in hospitals of a similar size and patient population, according to hospital officials. ICU teams at JCMC began a project in 2006 designed to target VAP infections by laying out a list of infection prevention criteria that must be met for every patient. The project involves a collaborative approach among nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists, infection prevention teams, physical and occupational therapists, and pharmacy staff.