Years ago skeptics believed that catheter-associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs) were not preventable. Despite some naysayers, the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) created a nationwide network of children’s hospitals known as the Quality Transformation Network (QTN) who believed that change was possible and dedicated themselves every day in hospital pediatric intensive care and hematology/oncology units to improving patient care. Today the evidence is irrefutable: 2,964 central line infections prevented, 355 lives saved, over $103 million in cost savings.
The collective strength of the Quality Transformation Network (QTN) has led to this remarkable milestone of more than $100 million in cost savings by prevention of central line infections. The implementation of evidence-based quality improvement programs has been the core of the QTN program and these efforts have been rewarded. For every dollar spent on participation fees from 2006 through 2011, $36 have been saved. At a time when the health care industry is under increased scrutiny by the administration and Congress, NACHRI’s QTN has demonstrated that implementing consistent quality practices can go a long way toward saving money and saving lives.
An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association earlier this year pointed out that, unlike adult medicine, there are no national federally supported quality improvement programs for pediatric patient populations. Children’s hospitals have made the investment to pursue this work on their own. Together, children’s hospitals have eliminated $100 million in hospital costs, without government intervention or significant government quality improvement funding. Together, children’s hospitals have developed the evidence for a new array of techniques for preventing central line infections in the vulnerable pediatric population. Most importantly, together, children’s hospitals are saving patients from acquiring serious, sometimes fatal infections.
NACHRI salutes the QTN clinical teams, patients and families who have dedicated themselves to improving quality care.