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Blood Infections Plunge 40% Under Safety Protocol

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, September 11, 2012

She added, "There is no better rocket fuel than success. And when hospitals see how others are succeeding, it goes viral."

CUSP "has had a profound impact," said Michael Tooke, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Shore Health, a two-hospital system based in Easton on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Through team building and protocols, he said, "it's been 810 days since our last CLABSI in the ICU at Memorial Hospital and 1,025 days at Dorchester General. And in February of 2010, we experienced the last ventilator-associated pneumonia in either of our ICUs."

Theresa Hickman, a nurse educator at Peterson Regional Medical Center, Kerrville, TX, added that in her 32 years as a nurse, "the CUSP tool is the most powerful program I've ever seen. Historically, front line caregivers—especially nurses, have not been included in safety programs. But CUSP turns that model on its head."

While the speakers did not give many precise examples of how the program works, they said CUSP is customizable to a hospital's unique situation.  It functions in part by allowing hospitals to build teams of people at various levels of patient care to implement best practices, and empowers them to talk frankly about problems in their organizations.

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