Ventilator Acquired Pneumonia Rate at Lowest

For several years Howard Young Medical Center (HYMC) has implemented the best practice guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent Ventilator Acquired Pneumonia (VAP), a pneumonia that can occur in patients who have been on mechanical ventilation for 48 hours or longer.

Several years ago when the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) published its key components for the prevention of pneumonia, a task force was developed at HYMC.  This taskforce assessed whether or not these key components of prevention were being used on ventilated patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at HYMC.  The key components evaluated were:

  • Elevation of the head of the bed
  • Patient’s ability to breathe on his or her own every day so that the patient can be taken off of the ventilator as soon as possible
  • Peptic Ulcer disease prophylaxis (stress ulcers)
  • Deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis (blood clots in legs)
  • Oral Care ever two hours

“By evaluating our practices against the Institute for Healthcare Improvement key components, we were able to identify and change the way we care for patients that are on a ventilator,” said Karen Lauer, Quality Improvement, Howard Young Health Care.

In working with these pneumonia reducing initiatives, HYMC ICU has not had a Ventilator Acquired Pneumonia since July 2007.  Our zero percentage rate in Ventilator Acquired Pneumonia far exceeds the national rate, which is 5.1 percent. 

“Howard Young Medical Center’s Quality Improvement Team constantly works to evaluate and implement the best practices to ensure our patient’s are receiving the best possible care,” said Sheila Clough, President, Howard Young Health Care.  “I’m proud of this hospital and the committed staff who strive to provide the highest quality of care possible.”   

HYMC’s commitment to quality care is measured continuously through a set of national quality indicators.  These indicators help our healthcare providers assess and improve the care being delivered in our hospital.  Our goal is to provide the best quality of care at all times.

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