The University of Pennsylvania Health System aimed for the elimination of Central Line Associated Bloodstream infections starting on four units and then spreading the improvements system-wide using Toyota/Lean principles. Incorporating Value Capture teaching, Penn created an 80% reduction in their infection rate within 30 days and then increased and sustained the improvement for more than three years. This accounted for 66 fewer deaths in the health system during Value Capture’s 18-month engagement, a $2.9 million increase in revenues (new patients due to increased throughput) and a $3.6 million reduction in actual bottom line costs, accounting for a $6.5 million direct benefit to the bottom line from work in just one infection area. Penn also gained the capability to sustain these results and apply the ideas and skills to other problems and opportunities. CNN highlighted this work as the ideal model for true healthcare reform.

But the real impact of this work is best measured not by national headlines, but by the feelings of front line staff and managers in addition to the concrete results. Here is how a front-line nurse described this work in successfully nominating it for a prestigious internal prize: “The Value Capture project was initiated in April of 2008 by the medical director Dr. Shannon. At that time [our unit’s] BSI rate was 3.44 (per 1,000 catheter days). Our overall BSI rate in 2007 was what now seems astronomical at 7.5%. After completion of the project, the hospital has been able to maintain a BSI rate of zero for over a year now.”

“What at the time seemed unbelievable to [our] nurses has now become a reality… due to a remarkable improvement in nursing practice standards that I know [our unit] will only continue to push higher and higher.”

Tiffany Lyons, RN

Rhoads 3 Unit, UPHS