At The University of Kansas Health System, we continually work to improve care and save lives. We adhere to best practices to improve the quality of care for patients in Kansas City and throughout the nation. This includes developing new strategies to prevent infections, avoid injuries and respond quickly to emergencies.
Our dedication to quality is the reason we help more people and save more lives.
Reducing door-to-balloon times
Door-to-balloon time refers to the amount of time elapsing from the moment a heart attack patient arrives at the Emergency Department to when a balloon opens the patient's blocked artery. National guidelines recommend a door-to-balloon interval of no more than 90 minutes, and our heart care team consistently averages well under this recommendation.
Rapid Response Teams (RRTs)
We have rapid response teams (RRTs) in place to speed treatment to anyone in the hospital or on campus. Each team consists of a respiratory therapist, a critical care nurse and other appropriate specialists. RRTs can be activated by staff or visitors whenever they are concerned about someone's condition. Having an active RRT program in place strongly increases the likelihood of survival.
Acute Stroke Response Team
Our acute stroke response team averages 5 minutes from the moment they receive a page notifying them to arriving at the patient's bedside. This is dramatically quicker than the recommended national standard. The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association recognized our program's excellent results with the Stroke Gold Plus achievement award and the Target: Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll Award. The award represents important recognition from a national leader in measuring, understanding and improving the patient experience.
Early diagnosis and treatment of sepsis
Our critical care team determined the best ways to identify sepsis and treat it quickly. We built screening tools into our care processes to help staff recognize sepsis in all patients. When patients have sepsis, our staff immediately takes action using a specific treatment plan.
To help other hospitals fight sepsis, we offer STOP Sepsis (Standard Techniques, Operations and Procedures for Sepsis). Through the program, leaders and educators in hospitals and other care facilities throughout Kansas are trained to recognize the signs of severe sepsis and treat it aggressively and successfully. Those who have trained in this program can then train colleagues on evidence-based care of sepsis.
Ventilator-associated pneumonia prevention
Our patients are among the most acutely sick in the region, yet they experience ventilator-associated pneumonia less often than the national average. That's because our respiratory therapists and nurses use a multidisciplinary bundle of evidence-based measures to prevent this serious condition.
The University of Kansas Health System has an ongoing initiative to reduce the risk of patient falls and injuries. We do this by continuously improving communication with patients and visitors and monitoring those at risk. Our goal is that no patient be injured as the result of a fall.
Hand hygiene programs
To reduce infection, we continuously encourage hand hygiene in a variety of ways, including:
- Infection-control promotion and education for patients, visitors and staff
- Hand-washing audits to measure staff compliance