Patients see improved outcomes in the quality of their care when their healthcare providers seek out and implement best practices in care delivery. Though its rate of hospital-acquired infections has been historically below state averages, Albany Medical Center focused on reducing the rate of bloodstream infections in its most critically ill patients.
Staff in the neonatal intensive care unit implemented an initiative that focused on central lines, which carry fluids and medications into major veins. Staff followed strict standards for line insertion and maintenance, analyzed infections to identify contributing factors, and implemented best practices. Through this effort, Albany Medical Center achieved a significantly low rate of blood infections attributed to central lines, with no such infections in 4,000 "central-line days," an important achievement given the compromised condition of these patients.