Hospitals link to improve ICU care

By Bernie Monegain
12:00 AM

Sixteen hospitals across New Jersey and Pennsylvania are connecting electronically to focus on improving care for patients in intensive care units.  

The hospitals have joined what's known as a Rapid Adoption Network (RAN), a virtual network that will allow them to share information about their clinical practices in order to accelerate the pace of clinical improvement, cutting improvement time to less than one year.

The RAN is sponsored by VHA Inc., a national healthcare alliance based in Irving, Texas. A unifying focal point for the RAN will be the clinical blueprint VHA has developed to help its members improve performance in ICUs. Patients in the ICU are at higher risk for infections and other complications, which lengthen the hospital stay and threaten patients' lives, VHA officials say.

The participating hospitals are:

  • Abington Memorial Hospital, Abington, Pa.
  • Chilton Memorial Hospital, Pompton Plains, N.J
  • Crozer Chester Medical Center, Upland, Pa.
  • Delaware County Memorial Hospital, Drexel Hill, Pa.
  • Taylor Hospital, Ridley Park, Pa.
  • Springfield Hospital, Springfield, Pa.
  • Grand View Hospital, Sellersville, Pa.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center, Flemington, N.J.
  • Temple Jeanes Hospital, Philadelphia
  • Temple Northeastern Hospital, Philadelphia
  • Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia
  • Shore Memorial Hospital, Somers Point, N.J.
  • Montgomery Hospital , Norristown, Pa.
  • Underwood Memorial Hospital, Woodbury, N.J.
  • Warren Hospital, Phillipsburg, N.J.
  • The Chester County Hospital, West Chester, Pa.      

The network will focus on helping hospitals prevent or lower the incidence of blood stream infections, catheter-related infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia in the ICU.

 "The ICU RAN project provides us with an opportunity to network and collaborate with clinicians in neighboring hospitals to improve processes of care and thus optimize ICU patient outcomes," said Dianne Lanham, patient safety and quality officer at The Chester County Hospital in West Chester, Pa.

"VHA's clinical improvement platform focuses on helping members become leading performers," said Trent Haywood, MD, a lawyer and chief medical officer at VHA. "Our programs and services will help guide members towards success and improve clinical care across the country."

"Hospitals across the state are under significant pressure from both federal and state insurance programs and private insurers to improve quality, and participation in this effort will help these hospitals meet that mandate," said Mark Tino, RN, vice president of performance improvement at VHA's East Coast office in Trevose, Pa.