Medical center grant to prevent, reduce hospital-acquired infections

August 30, 2006

Hershey, Pa. -- Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center received a significant boost to its ongoing efforts to implement new technology to track and proactively prevent hospital-acquired infections, it was announced Tuesday.

The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) and the Highmark Foundation announced Penn State Hershey Medical Center has been selected for the Reducing Hospital-Acquired Infections with Electronic Surveillance Demonstration Project. As part of the project, the Medical Center will receive $54,000 in funding to assist in its utilization of MedMined's Data Mining Surveillance service. The Medical Center is one of 11 Pennsylvania hospitals selected to participate in the project.

"This grant is affirmation of our ongoing commitment to patient-care quality and safety," said Michael Weitekamp, the Medical Center's chief medical officer. "From the implementation of one of the most comprehensive electronic health information systems in the nation to our grass roots campaigns to educate staff, patients and visitors about common-sense measures to prevent infections, the Medical Center has instituted numerous initiatives to enhance our quality of care. This grant allows us to further our ongoing efforts."

"Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center should be commended for taking the lead in implementing this infection control technology, which has been proven to lower both infection rates and health-care costs," said Marc P. Volavka, executive director of PHC4. "The MedMined service frees a hospital's infection control staff from manual data collection practices and gets them onto the floors and into the rooms of hospitals so they can do the job they were trained for -- finding and preventing the causes of the hospital-acquired infections."

"The goal of the project is to reduce hospital-acquired infection rates, which is one of the most important areas where we can improve the quality and safety of health care today," said Donald Fischer, Highmark senior vice president and chief medical officer. "Keeping patients safe while in the hospital helps to increase the quality of care. It's a win-win for the patient and the hospital."

All Pennsylvania general acute care hospitals were eligible to apply for the project. Applications were evaluated and selected based on location and commitment to employing contemporary infection control practices and the hospital's economic need.

MedMined, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cardinal Health, provides data-mining analysis and related technical, clinical and financial consulting services to the health-care community. MedMined's Data Mining Surveillance service is currently used by 195 hospitals in 26 states, covering more than 2.5 million hospital admissions yearly. The service pinpoints sources of infections by electronically monitoring real-time and historical clinical data, and alerts infection control professionals to the processes of care that increase the risk of infections.

PHC4 is an independent state agency charged with collecting, analyzing and reporting cost and quality health care information. The Highmark Foundation was created in December 2000 to support initiatives and programs aimed to improve community health.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009