Sepsis safety improved at Kern Medical Center thanks to Kaiser grant

The $300,000 grant awarded to Kern Medical Center from Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente has helped the Bakersfield, Calif.-based community hospital improve patient safety and save money.

The grant money was used to initiate a hospital-wide program to improve sepsis care. The approach involved a multidisciplinary team led by a physician and a pharmacist with special infectious disease training and an antimicrobial stewardship program. The initiatives successfully reduced sepsis-related death rates by almost 10 percent and decreased the occurrences of central line-associated blood stream infections from 5.2 instances per 1,000 patient days to zero.

"The grant awarded from Kaiser Permanente is essential in improving procedures and best practices in sepsis management at Kern Medical," said Russell Judd, CEO of Kern Medical. "Because of the generous donation, we've been able to decrease antibiotic use and save on costs, all while benefiting our community in a lasting way."

The grant funded initiatives also decreased inappropriate antibiotic use by 10 percent and increased predischarge monitoring and improved care education for venous thromboembolism patients to reduce readmissions. Since the implementation of these programs, Kern Medical Center has seen more than $1.8 million in savings.

David Womack, senior vice president and area manager for Kaiser Permanente in Kern County, said, "As part of our mission to improve our community's health, we awarded this grant to help improve health outcomes for our neighbors. We are delighted by the results Kern Medical achieved with our investment."

More articles on infection control: 
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140 UW Medical Center, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance patients warned of possible TB exposure 
Update: Dangerous bacteria detected outside of NICU at Prince George's Hospital Center

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