March/April 2008

Continuing Care Hospital Presents Clinical Improvements

Continuing Care Hospital, located within Saint Joseph East, Lexington, Ky., achieved excellent outcomes with two clinical initiatives. Continuing Care Hospital is a long-term acute care hospital with an average length of stay of 25 days. The hospital’s first goal was to reduce the rate of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers days by 50 percent. Steps taken included hiring a full-time wound care nurse and educating the entire nursing staff. As a result, the hospital exceeded its goal and had no incidence of pressure ulcers for eight consecutive months during 2007. The hospital’s second goal was to reduce the monthly rate of hospital-acquired methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections by 50 percent. Steps taken included educating the nursing staff and ancillary staff on hand hygiene guidelines, using “secret shoppers” to monitor hand hygiene compliance, and holding staff accountable for compliance with hand hygiene guidelines. As a result, the MRSA rate decreased more than 50 percent and there was no incidence of hospital-acquired MRSA infection for four consecutive months during 2007. Continuing Care Hospital shared these results through poster presentations at the 2008 Catholic Health Initiatives Quality and Risk Management Conference and at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s 2007 National Quality Conference. For more information, contact Megan Walker of Continuing Care Hospital at