Using checklists saves $1.1 million a year per hospital

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Sept. 12, 2011

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Michigan hospitals that implemented checklists to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections in their intensive care units saw an average tenfold return on their investment in patient safety, said a study published in the September/October issue of the American Journal of Medical Quality (link).

Each catheter-related bloodstream infection costs a Michigan hospital $36,500 to treat, on average, but implementing the checklist program costs only about $3,375 per infection avoided. More than 100 Michigan ICUs were able to cut bloodstream infections by an average of two-thirds, with many hospitals eliminating the infections entirely. On average, each hospital saved about $1.1 million a year by implementing the patient safety program, the study said. The patient safety "bundle" now being spread to hospitals nationwide costs each hospital an average of $161,000 to put into place, mostly for staff time.

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