Using Technology for Infection Control at St. Joseph’s Medical Center

This is part 2 of 2 part blog series that explores the benefits of patient safety rounding.

Previously, we discussed the importance of fall prevention rounding within the topic of patient safety rounds. We saw how CipherRounds helped Sentara Health reduce the number of falls per 1,000 patient days. However, there is another silent killer that also deserves more medical attention: patient infection.

Patient infections are estimated to cause 88,000 deaths and $4.5 billion in additional costs annually. Not only can hospitals not afford to ignore this issue, but there is ample space for improvement via patient safety rounds.

St. Joseph’s Medical Center (SJMC) in Yonkers, NY saw this opportunity and launched a basic rounding initiative to reduce central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). However, getting nurses to adhere to the new initiative proved challenging.

To address this issue, SJMC decided to partner with CipherHealth in order to implement CipherRounds, a digital rounding tool designed to maximize workflow and efficiency. CipherRounds promoted nurse compliance to the infection prevention initiative by providing the nurses with infection prevention scripts. These scripts drew particular attention to patients with central lines and urinary catheters. If nurse leaders found that patients were not rounded on properly, they would take the opportunity to educate the staff in order to foster a community of learning and growth.

The speed at which patient information is disseminated was also a contributing factor to the success of SJMC. When a nurse uses the same method of rounding, the time it takes to complete rounding is improved. For instance, technology solutions like CipherRounds can help reduce a nurse’s worktime by 30 minutes. With a near-continuous stream of data and immediate alerting, hospital leaders are also able to extrapolate trends and implement rapid changes to improve care. If a patient feels well cared for and recovers within a good time frame, he/she is more likely to think highly of the hospital, leading to better patient satisfaction and higher HCAHPS score.

The dedication of the SJMC leadership paved the way for success. Staff members increased CAUTI compliance by 60% and CLABSI compliance by 58%. In addition, incidence of CAUTI was reduced by 67% in the second four months of 2015. To this day, SJMC remains vigilant when trying to successfully prevent infections.

Conclusion:

Although technology can greatly bolster patient safety efforts, it takes more than digital solutions to successfully see results. It also takes perseverance and the willingness to create an environment of accountability rather than accusation. Although seemingly a difficult task, investing in patient safety rounds will save your hospital money, boost patient outcomes, and prove to your community that your providers really care. To learn more about how you can improve patient safety, contact us here.

As CipherHealth’s Chief Nursing Officer, Lisa Romano, MSN, RN brings more than 25 years of experience in clinical practice, healthcare IT strategy, and healthcare operations to her current role. Prior to previous CNO roles, Lisa spent 19 years as a nurse and hospital administrator at Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network in Allentown, PA, where she was responsible for all patient flow and transfer center operations as well as numerous quality and patient satisfaction initiatives. Lisa is passionate about improving the health of patients across the healthcare continuum.