SOURCE: VHA

June 23, 2008 15:38 ET

Sixteen Hospitals in New Jersey and Pennsylvania Come Together to Focus on Improving Clinical Quality and Patient Safety for ICU Patients

IRVING, TX--(Marketwire - June 23, 2008) - Sixteen hospitals across New Jersey and Pennsylvania have come together to focus on improving care for patients in intensive care units (ICUs). The hospitals have joined what's known as a Rapid Adoption Network (RAN), a virtual network that will allow them to share information about their clinical practices for the purpose of accelerating the pace of clinical improvement, cutting improvement time to less than one year. The RAN is sponsored by VHA Inc., the national health care alliance. A unifying focal point for the RAN will be the clinical blueprint VHA has developed to help its members improve performance in ICUs. Patients in the ICU are at higher risk for infections and other complications, which lengthen the hospital stay and threaten patients' lives.

The participating member hospitals include:

--  Abington Memorial Hospital, Abington, Pa.
--  Chilton Memorial Hospital, Pompton Plains, N.J.
--  Crozer Keystone Health System - Crozer Chester Medical Center, Upland,
    Pa.
--  Crozer Keystone Health System - Delaware County Memorial Hospital,
    Drexel Hill, Pa.
--  Crozer Keystone Health System - Taylor Hospital, Ridley Park, Pa.
--  Crozer Keystone Health System - Springfield Hospital, Springfield, Pa.
--  Grand View Hospital, Sellersville, Pa.
--  Hunterdon Medical Center, Flemington, N.J.
--  Temple Jeanes Hospital, Philadelphia
--  Temple Northeastern Hospital, Philadelphia
--  Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia
--  Shore Memorial Hospital, Somers Point, N.J.
--  Montgomery Hospital , Norristown, Pa.
--  Underwood Memorial Hospital, Woodbury, N.J.
--  Warren Hospital, Phillipsburg, N.J.
--  The Chester County Hospital, West Chester, Pa.
    

The VHA RAN will focus on helping hospitals prevent or lower the incidence of blood stream infections, catheter-related infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia in the ICU.

"Hospitals continue to work with VHA to improve care for our sickest and most vulnerable ICU patient population. The ICU RAN project provides us with an opportunity to network and collaborate with clinicians in neighboring hospitals to improve processes of care and thus optimize ICU patient outcomes," said Dianne Lanham, patient safety and quality officer at The Chester County Hospital in West Chester, Pa.

"VHA's clinical improvement platform focuses on helping members become leading performers," said Trent Haywood, M.D., J.D., chief medical officer at VHA. "Our programs and services will help guide members towards success and improve clinical care across the country."

"Hospitals across the state are under significant pressure from both federal and state insurance programs and private insurers to improve quality, and participation in this effort will help these hospitals meet that mandate," said Mark Tino, RN, vice president of performance improvement at VHA's East Coast office in Trevose, Pa.

A Rapid Adoption Network is one component of VHA's overall clinical improvement platform, which includes:

--  Leading Practices Portal -- a Web-based tool specifically designed to
    provide hospitals with a faster and more efficient path to adopting leading
    practices.  Hospital members can view Leading Practice Blueprints™ and
    can also compare the gaps in their processes against the leading practice
--  Leading Practice Blueprints™ -- Sophisticated, yet simple to
    follow, process maps based on ethnographic research at top performing VHA
    member hospitals. These blueprints were developed by carefully studying the
    clinical, engineering and design factors that are important to each leading
    practice hospital and integrating these elements into a powerful visual
    format
--  Clinical Educational Series -- Multimedia formatted educational
    programs provide year-round access to leading performers and leading
    practices
    

About VHA - VHA Inc., based in Irving, Texas, is a national alliance that provides industry-leading supply chain management services and supports the formation of regional and national networks to help members improve their clinical and economic performance. With 17 offices across the U.S., VHA has a track record of proven results in serving more than 1,400 not-for-profit hospitals and more than 23,000 non-acute care organizations nationwide. For more information go to www.vha.com.

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