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San Luis Valley Health Hospitals Help Reduce Costs and Harm

Thirty-two acute care Colorado hospitals, including San Luis Valley Health’s Regional Medical Center and Conejos County Hospital, have participated in a quality improvement project led by the Colorado Hospital Association over the past three years.

The project was created to reduce harm by 40 percent and avoidable readmissions by 20 percent. It did this by performing education, training and improvement activities in areas throughout Colorado.

“One of our main goals at San Luis Valley Health is to be the very best in quality and safety,” said Dr. Greg McAuliffe, Chief Medical Officer at San Luis Valley Health.  “Participating in this project has helped us improve our practices and systems so that we are creating a safe and quality environment for each one of our customers.”

From January 2012 through June 2014, participating hospitals prevented a total of 2,800 patient harms and saved the patients an estimated $14.8 million.  San Luis Valley Health’s facilities prevented 121 harms, saving patients over $700,000 in the process.  The topics measured include:

  • Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections (All Tracked Units)
  • Central Line Association Blood Stream Infections (All Tracked Units)
  • Falls With or Without Injury
  • Early Elective Deliveries
  • OB Harm (Injury to Neonate, OB Trauma w/ and w/out instrument, Massive Blood Transfusions)
  • Pressure Ulcers (Stage II and Greater and Stage III, IV and Unstageable)
  • All Cause Readmissions within 30 Days
  • Surgical Site Infections (In Hospital)
  • Ventilator Associated Conditions (All Tracked Units)
  • Potentially Preventable Venous Thromboembolism

These improvements means the patients are less likely to develop an infection from surgery, experience a medication error or be readmitted within a month when treated at participating facilities.

“The work our teams have been doing is really paying off,” said Kim Chacon, Director of Clinical Excellence at San Luis Valley Health.  “Our entire organization feels that they have a role in keeping patients safe.”