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Hospitals Report Progress Toward Ending Readmissions

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Wisconsin hospitals are lowering some infection rates by nearly 60 percent and reducing hospital readmission rates according to a new report released by the Wisconsin Hospital Association.

Wisconsin Hospital Association spokesperson Mary Kay Grasmick says after a review of data collected from Wisconsin hospitals, they saw improvements in key areas. She says hospitals decreased catheter-associated urinary tract infections by 56 percent. Those infections are one of the most common hospital-acquired infections. She says 15 to 25 percent of hospitalized patients have a urinary catheter placed during their hospital stay affecting thousands of patients.

She says they've also reduced the number of patients who have falls...

"....medications can make patients more at risk of falling. Sometimes it's aging and Wisconsin has an aging population. Sometimes not using a (hospital) call light and just moving through the room a patient can fall. But learning best practices they reduced falls 38 percent. We're showing good progress in reducing hospital readmissions...."

Grasmick says Wisconsin is becoming known nationally in the cooperative approach for better care...

"....it's just in our culture in this state to share what we know, to improve care all across the state..."

When a patient has an infection, it puts them at risk for developing sepsis, which is the body’s toxic response to infections. This response can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death. Grasmick says hospitals are aggressively working to reduce sepsis mortality through early detection and rapid aggressive treatment. The efforts have led to an 18 percent decrease in mortality-associated sepsis since 2013.

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