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July 11, 2006 > Kaiser Permanente Improves Patient Care

Kaiser Permanente Improves Patient Care

by Debra M. Lambert

The Kaiser Permanente Fremont and Hayward Medical Centers announced that, after 10 months of participation in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's landmark 100,000 Lives Campaign, they are dramatically improving how patients are cared for when they're most at risk for infection, complications and adverse outcomes.

Initially launched in December of 2004, the 100,000 Lives Campaign is the first ever national campaign to promote saving a specified number of lives in hospitals by June 14, through the implementation of proven, evidence-based, practices and procedures.

The campaign's six proven, evidence-based, practices and procedures to saving lives are:

Activate a Rapid Response Team at the first sign that a patient's condition is worsening which may lead to a more serious medical emergency.

Appropriate administration of aspirin to prevent blood clots and Beta blockers to prevent further heart attacks can prevent patients from dying of a heart attack.

Prevent medication errors by ensuring that accurate and continually updated lists of patients' medications are referenced during their hospital stay, particularly at transition points.

Proper hand washing and cleaning the patient's skin with "chlorhexidine" (a type of soap) can prevent patients who are receiving medicines and fluids through central lines from developing infections.

Following a series of steps, including the timely administration of antibiotics can prevent patients undergoing surgery from developing infections.

Raising the head of the patient's bed between 30 and 40 degrees is one of four steps that can prevent patients on ventilators from developing pneumonia.

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