VMH is participating in a quality improvement initiative conducted by MetaStar, Wisconsin’s quality improvement organization.

The Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI) Prevention Project initiative assists states in developing a plan to collect and disseminate information throughout the U.S. regarding the most cost-effective approaches to health-associated infection prevention.  Healthcare-Associated infections are infections patients acquire during the course of receiving treatment for other conditions.  Health care workers acquire them on the job as well.  HAI's account for an estimated two-million infections and 90,000 deaths annually.  Studies have shown that up to 90% of healthcare-associated infections can be prevented. 

VMH has teams working on several initiatives to prevent these infections. 

  • Development of the Comprehensive Unit-Based Safety Program that assesses the safety culture at VMH.  This study has helped identify the strengths and challenges related to improving the safety of our patients.
  • Expansion of the central line-associated blood stream infection (BSI) prevention project in collaboration with the Wisconsin Hospital Association's "STOP BSI" project.  This looks at two different types of infections: central line catheters and foley urinary catheters. 
  • Expansion of the healthcare-acquired invasive Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) infection prevention project in collaboration with MetaStar.  MRSA is a bacterium that has become an increasing problem for all types of patients regardless of their previous health status.  This bacteria was traditionally a hospital inpatient problem, but in the last 20 years has evolved into a problem for the general public as well.
  • Development of a new hip and knee arthroplasty surgical site infection prevention project.

Another major goal of the project is to expand the number of hospitals in Wisconsin that report surveillance data to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).   The NHSN is a free, internet-based secure surveillance system developed and maintained by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  This surveillance database will allow VMH to have more infection surveillance data for comparison purposes.