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The most important thing a hospital can do is save a patient's life. Although it is impossible to eliminate all risks of death and complications, especially for seriously ill patients, risks can be reduced by choosing a hospital with a lower mortality rate and/or a higher long-term survival or success rate. Stanford Health Care has initiated several programs to increase the survival rate for patients.
Promoting hand hygiene
Hospital-acquired infections account for approximately 80,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), 7-10% of all hospitalized patients experience a hospital acquired infection. While it may sound simple, basic hand washing is the single most effective method to reduce the spread of common infections, especially in a hospital setting. Unfortunately, AHRQ has found that most hospitals have a poor compliance rate with hand washing—often less than 50%. Stanford Health Care has implemented an innovative program that has significantly improved the compliance with hand hygiene standards, most recently reporting an 86% compliance rate.
Rapid response team
Activated by a nurse, physician, respiratory therapist or physician assistant, a Rapid Response Team (RRT) is a team of expert critical care clinicians who provide rapid urgent and emergent care to non-ICU patients anywhere in a hospital setting. Since Stanford's RRTs have been in place, they have prevented many hospital complications for patients who display acute signs or symptoms of worsening conditions. The RRT's quick response to a patient's changing condition has led to a 38.6% decrease in cardiopulmonary arrests since the team originated.