Saturday, April 5, 2008

VHA honors ICU for having no VAP cases

Congratulations to the staff and leadership of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Community General Hospital. Because of their accomplishment, our hospital will receive an award for excellence at the VHA Leadership Conference, May 4, in Philadelphia, PA.

The award recognizes Community for having no cases of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) for 12 consecutive months.

I’d like to acknowledge and thank Dr. Russ Acevedo, [1] ICU Medical Director, and the intensivist physicians who practice with him in the ICU. Appreciation also goes to Sue Kompf, RN, Staff Educator and Acting Manager of the ICU, and her staff. My thanks as well to Dr. Mitchell Brodey, Infectious Disease Officer, and to Sue Chamberlain, RN, Director of the Infection Control Program.

VAP is the leading cause of death amongst hospital-acquired infections, exceeding the rate of death due to central line infections, severe sepsis, and respiratory tract infections in the non-intubated patient. Perhaps the most concerning aspect of VAP is the high associated mortality.
An article in Chest, published by the American College of Chest Surgeons, reports that VAP increases the time an ICU patient spends on a mechanical ventilator, as well as adding to the length of a hospital stay even after a patient is discharged from an ICU.

The Society of Critical Care Medicine among others, has identified a “bundle” of activities that “achieve significantly better outcomes when used together,” including elevating the head of the ICU bed, daily “sedation vacations” and assessments of a patient’s readiness for extubation, as well as prophylactic treatment[2] for peptic ulcer disease and deep venous thrombosis (DVT).

Community was notified of the honor by Curt Nonomaque, President and CEO of VHA, Inc., who said, “This award honors organizations that have differentiated themselves around national performance standards by achieving exceptionally high levels of performance.”
It is our second VHA award. In 2006 Community was honored for excellence in the clinical care of patients with heart failure (at left)

Congratulations on this milestone in quality patient care!

[1] Dr. Acevedo also directs the ICU at Crouse Hospital, and he is the chair of the Respiratory Care Network Steering Committee of the American College of Chest Physicians. Congratulations to Crouse Hospital, which will also be honored by the VHA for having no VAP cases in 12 months.
[2] “Prophylaxis” comes from a Greek word that means guarding against or preventing something. In medicine, a prophylactic treatment is a medical or public health procedure that helps prevent disease or injury.

1 comment:

Tom Quinn said...

I received the following e-mail from Sue Kompf:

"Thank you for your kind words; I also want to acknowledge the Resp Therapy Dept’s contribution toward our VAP success. The ICU and RT has had a great working relationship over the years and we could not have been successful without their support.

Susanne Kompf RN, MS, CCRN
Critical Care Nurse Educator"

Thank you, Sue, for correcting my oversight. Let me acknowledge the work of Dr. Robert Westlake, Chairman of Medicine and Medical Director of Respiratory Care, as well as Fred Buck, Manager of Respiratory Therapy and Sleep Center, and staff. They have been an important part in achieving the VAP success. Thank you!