2011-07-01 / Business News

PHC Scores Perfect In Infection Study

By Howard Schwach

Peninsula Hospital Center was the only hospital in the metropolitan area to achieve a zero blood infection rate.

A new study released last week by Consumer Reports Health (CRH) says that the Peninsula Hospital Center in Arverne is the only hospital in the entire metropolitan area to have no bloodstream infections last year.

The recently released national report shows a wide variation in how likely it is that a hospital patient will contract a deadly bloodstream infection while in the hospital.

The report, entitled, Health Beat: When Hospitals Accept High Infection Rates:

A “Cultural Problem” says, “Surprisingly, none of Manhattan’s highly-respected medical centers garnered a solid red circle {zero infection rate}. Peninsula Hospital Center in Far Rockaway is the only city hospital with this distinction.”

According to a spokesperson for PHC, nurse Renee Hembree-Bey, the hospital’s director of Infection Control, embraced the efforts of the New York State Department of Health, Patient Safety Collaborative in October of 2006, brought the knowledge back to the Hospital Center and combined efforts with Eunmi Kim, RN, director of Critical Care Units, and her staff. Kim fully involved her staff and most importantly, the physician staff – both attendings and residents – in the training process of the Collaborative. Reporting began in January of 2007 and the data is verified by the New York State Department of Health each year.

“Several years ago, Peninsula Hospital Center made a concerted effort to cut our hospital-acquired, critical care bloodstream infection rate to zero by instituting new standards of practice in critical care where central line bloodstream infections are most often acquired,” explains Kim. “Hospitals report their own statistics, but when any hospital reports a very low or zero infection rate as PHC did, it raises a “red flag” and investigators from the New York State Department of Health actually come to the institution to validate the records of each and every patient. In our case, the investigators were here for two days going through charts and medical records thoroughly to validate and verify our results before releasing them to the public.”

The most deadly bloodstream infections most commonly associated with central line catheters inserted directly into a large vein, kill 90,000 Americans every year. Robin Blackwell, RN, vice president of Nursing Services, Chief Nurse Executive, said of the Hospital Center’s success, “Our nurses are very well educated as to the protocol and the end result is very rewarding proof that our efforts work. Our critical care units are extremely busy and we are very proud of this accomplishment. We have a long-standing commitment to patient safety and this is just one of the many measures we take to ensure just that.”

Peter A. Galvin, M.D., the Hospital Center’s Chief Medical Officer, is quick to point out the dedication of the hospital’s nursing staff. “They took it upon themselves to set a goal of a zero central line infection rate. They educated themselves as well as the attending and resident physicians and the results are a reflection of their diligence and dedication to excellent patient care.

As evidenced by the statistics reported by Consumer Reports Health, Peninsula Hospital Center achieved a goal that none of the larger, well-known and wellendowed hospitals throughout the City of New York could achieve.

“That speaks directly to the commitment and expertise of our staff,” said a spokesperson.

According to the report, the other Rockaway hospital, St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway, received the lowest possible rating.

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