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Using a Collaborative to Reduce Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia in Thailand

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Background: Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a serious nosocomial infection, leading to high mortality and high costs of treatment in developed and limited-resource countries. A collaborative quality improvement (QI) project was conducted in 18 secondary and tertiary care hospitals in Thailand to address the problem.

Methods: The project, conducted between February 2004 and May 2005, entailed three face-to-face meetings—two national workshops and two regional workshops (each conducted twice). Education on VAP prevention, including guidelines and the ventilator bundle, was conducted for intensive care unit staff and all relevant personnel. The collaborative's effectiveness was assessed by VAP rate, a self-administered questionnaire, and face-to-face interviews.

Results: Within 12 months, the pooled VAP rate decreased from 13.3 to 8.3 per 1,000 ventilator-days. The costs of antibiotic treatment for VAP decreased by more than one half. More than 80% of interviewed participants reported that the QI method could be applied effectively in their organization.

Discussion: VAP surveillance during this project revealed a gradual reduction of the VAP rate. The project's relative overall success appears to reflect, as reported elsewhere, a well-organized program, support from hospital administrators, and workshop leaders' presentation of proven QI methods and clinical interventions.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2007

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  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    David W. Baker, MD, MPH, FACP, executive vice president for the Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation at The Joint Commission, is the inaugural editor-in-chief of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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