Course: Understanding Guidelines for Hospital-associated Infections (HAI’s): Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI)
The lack of well-integrated and comprehensive continuing education content is a significant contributing factor to current knowledge and performance deficiencies across the health system at this time (JPS, 2013), and Arkansas has additional challenges to providing education for health professionals as a result of limited funding for continuing education and access to training resources and lack of adequate specialty content experts. There is a strong need in the state and beyond for providing quality educational interventions to address the most pressing patient safety needs and helping providers to develop and refine tools for tracking and continuously improving their own approaches to addressing patient safety issues.
Course: Acute Sepsis Risk Assessment and Management
Arkansas is among the 11 states in the “sepsis belt” with the highest infection death rates in the country. Mortality in these states exceeds the average at a rate of 80.2 vs. 62.2 per 100,000 with a significant disparity by race. Approximate annual cost to Arkansas alone for sepsis management is more than $200 million annually.
Course: Central line associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI)
A central line infection costs approximately $19,000 to manage. Subsequent estimated cost to the state of Arkansas for CLABSI is about $2.4 million annually.
Course: Quality Improvement/Patient Safety
Fifteen years ago, the Institute of Medicine published its now-famous report “To Err is Human” and asserted that up to 98,000 people die each year from mistakes that are made in hospitals. Initially the number was widely disputed, but an updated estimate places the number closer to 210,000 deaths per year associated with preventable harm, and many patient safety experts consider this number to be an under-estimate, citing a rate closer to 400,000 per year (Journal of Patient Safety [JPS], Sept. 2013). Medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in America, right behind cancer and heart disease. Even using the lower estimate on deaths associated with preventable harm, this would be equivalent to approximately 2,100 deaths per year in Arkansas due to preventable harm from treatment received in hospitals.
In addition to the immeasurable human cost of these types of patient safety issues, they also result in significant lost revenue to the state of Arkansas. In fiscal year 2014-2015, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) penalized 721 U.S. hospitals with high rates of potentially avoidable mistakes that can cause harm to patients. These issues, known as “hospital acquired conditions,” resulted in a 1% reduction in reimbursements for eight Arkansas hospitals.