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    Rome Memorial Hospital recognized by Consumer Reports
    for protecting patients from infection

    Feb. 10, 2010

    Rome Memorial Hospital is one of only nine New York State hospitals to be recognized by Consumer Reports for protecting patients in the intensive care unit against life-threatening central line bloodstream infections.

    Of the 926 United States hospitals reviewed by Consumer Reports, only 105 facilities – including Rome Memorial Hospital – reported zero central line infections in 2008. Rome was the only facility in the Mohawk Valley singled out by the magazine.

    Central lines are catheters or tubes that are inserted into a major vein to deliver fluids, nutrition and medications to critically ill patients. If proper infection prevention measures are not followed, the central line becomes a delivery system for dangerous bacteria to spread throughout the body. Experts estimated that bloodstream infections are responsible for at least 30 percent of the 99,000 annual hospital-infection related deaths in the U.S., according to Consumer Reports.

    According to Infectious Disease specialist and Chief Medical Officer Waleed Albert, M.D., Rome Memorial Hospital implemented the “central line bundle,” recommended by the Institute of Healthcare Improvement two years ago to reduce the risk of central line infections.

    “The bundle is a combination of evidence-based interventions that, when implemented as a group, result in better outcomes than when implemented individually,” Dr. Albert explained. The key components include common sense measures of practicing effective hand hygiene, minimizing access to the central line and removing central lines when they are no longer necessary.

    “We’re proud of this collaborative effort between our physicians and the hospital staff,” Dr. Albert said. “The education and commitment to evidence-based practices has paid off by protecting our patients from severe infections that can result in death. The mortality rate from a bloodstream infection is very high.”

    Because of the consistency and diligence of following the IHI’s checklist, Rome Memorial Hospital also had zero central line infections in the ICU in 2009, Dr. Albert noted.

    “At Rome Memorial Hospital, our procedures are driven by evidence-based practices,” Dr. Albert said. “As a progressive organization, we adopt these practices to provide our patients with the best possible outcomes.”