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Private ICU Rooms Slash HAI Rates by Half

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, January 12, 2011

The intervention hospital was Montreal General Hospital, 1.4 miles away, which had a 24-bed ICU consisting of two large rooms of 12 beds, two private rooms within each larger room and four sinks prior to 2002. But in 2002, Montreal General moved its ICU to a different area in the hospital to 24 single private rooms, each with a sink and two additional sinks outside each private room.

Some 19,343 ICU admissions over 2000 and 2005, and 85,9995 patient days were evaluated. The hospitals shared the same patient-nurse ratio, the same infection control service and director and the same policies and practices.

In addition to the decline in rates of infection, the authors found that the average length of stay Royal Victoria increased after Montreal General's conversion while Montreal General's fluctuated but did not increase overall.

"The drastic improvement in the physical facility of the ICU from common rooms to private rooms yielded a dramatic reduction in the transmission of bacteria and yeast," the authors wrote.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.

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