LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Both hospitals strive to eliminate infections

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I read with interest your article on Providence St. Mary Medical Center's efforts to reduce its hospital-associated infection rates. I commend it for doing so and wish it every success.

It is not the only hospital in Walla Walla striving to lower or eliminate infections. In 2005, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, or IHI, promoted initiatives to reduce the incidence of ventilator associated pneumonia). Those were adopted by Walla Walla General Hospital.

WWGH has had zero VAPs since 2005. General Hospital was compared with 2,800 other hospitals across the country and ranked in the 99th percentile for the pneumonia core measures. It ranked in the 97th percentile in surgical core measures, a series of measures to reduce the risk of surgically related infections.

General Hospital also adopted a program promoted by Johns Hopkins University to eliminate central line infections, a special type of IV usually used for longer periods than a regular IV. Since that program was instituted, WWGH has had zero central line infections.

Both hospitals continue in their efforts to reduce or eliminate all hospital-associated infections. Both should receive credit for their efforts.

Scott G. Newbold, M.D.,

Adventist Health surgical specialists

Walla Walla

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