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Ventilator-Associated Event Harm Prevention Is a Team Support

Business Audience Adults with Medical Staff at Home
Monday, July 9, 2018

Oak Valley Hospital District in Oakdale, California, has created strategies to help prevent ventilator-associated events (VAEs).

Preventing harm to patients is everyone’s responsibility. This approach is very evident in the strategy for conducting surveillance and eliminating VAEs. This multi-disciplinary approach capitalizes on the strengths each discipline brings to the table. Surveillance is primarily performed by the infection preventionist through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) system. However, a team approach is necessary to collect accurate clinical data for the complex VAE algorithm.

During the improvement journey, Oak Valley Hospital District discovered that the clinical aspect of harm prevention was best addressed by the clinicians engaged in the patient’s care. For example, respiratory therapy staff members are accountable for ensuring the steps of the ABCDE bundle for Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia (VAP) prevention are implemented, as well as the compliance measures for each ventilated patient. Respiratory’s role in VAE improvement and VAP prevention is further supported by the rest of the clinical team, including nursing, pulmonology, infection control prevention, and rehabilitation staff members. This combined approach has led to the successful, sustained "zero-VAEs" performance.

For more information, please contact Deborah A. Dunaj, MS, BSN, RN, CPHQ, CPHRM, Vice President Quality, Risk Management, and Patient Safety, Oak Valley Hospital District, at