Highland ICU Receives National Award for Preventing Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia
May 10, 2011
Highland Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit has received a national award for preventing Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia (VAP) during the last two years. The National Awards Program to Recognize Achievements in Eliminating Healthcare-Associated Infections selected the ICU for a Sustained Improvement Award.
This is a significant achievement because of the frequency of ventilator use in the unit and the severity of illness in patients in the ICU. VAP is a serious lung infection, developing 48 hours or more after a patient is put on a ventilator (breathing machine). At best, it increases the time a patient spends on a ventilator and in the ICU; at worst, it can be fatal.
Highland’s ICU team has had a ‘Zero VAP’ rate since April 2009. The team was innovative in adopting an interdisciplinary approach to implement practices proven to be effective in VAP prevention. Personnel also receive aggressive training in prevention techniques, and the unit takes steps to educate patients and families.
The award is sponsored by a collaboration of health care agencies, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of Healthcare Quality and the Critical Care Societies Collaborative.