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  • Lifespan's Hospitals and the Rhode Island ICU Collaborative: Joining forces to significantly reduce ICU-related complications

  • The Rhode Island Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Collaborative is the first state-wide collaborative of its kind in the nation. Founded in 2005 and supported by grants from private medical foundations and other funding sources, the collaborative promotes safety and the reduction of ICU-related complications through education and training programs. All of Rhode Island's acute care hospitals, including Lifespan's Rhode Island Hospital, The Miriam Hospital and Newport Hospital, are active members the Rhode Island ICU Collaborative.

    The ICU-related complications that pose serious health risks, and have been targeted for improvement by the Collaborative, include: central line-associated blood stream infections (CLASBSI), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and sepsis (whole-body blood infection).

    Thanks to the Collaborative's comprehensive training for hospital staffs in the science of safety and improvement techniques, many lives have been saved and significant reductions of ICU-related complications state-wide have been reported.

    Results of the Collaborative

    The results of the Rhode Island ICU Collaborative's efforts, published in the August 2009 issue of Medicine & Health/Rhode Island (Vol. 92, No. 8), revealed:

    • Reduction of ICU-acquired infections (VAP and CLABSI) by 45 percent overall, due to improvements of using a catheter insertion checklist, chlorhexidine skin preparation, full-barrier precautions, removing unnecessary lines and other improvements.
    • Reduction of VAP rates by 18 percent overall, due to the adoption of a VAP bundle and improved communication of the daily care goals with the ventilated patient, among other improvements.
    • Training for medical staff in the early detection of sepsis in the emergency rooms or on medical floors resulting in prompt and aggressive fluid replacement for patients diagnosed with sepsis.

    The work of the Rhode Island ICU Collaborative, and the participation of Lifespan's affiliated hospitals in the Collaborative, is ongoing. The results of their efforts will be available for patient review as they are made public.

    We encourage you to submit any questions or concerns you may have relating to patient safety in the ICU.