What we measure:
Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia, referred to as VAP, is a serious hospital-acquired infection of the lungs. A patient who must use a ventilator or respirator to aid breathing is at risk to develop VAP. The tube and respirator that are used to help oxygen flow to the lungs may also allow free flow of germs (bacteria) into the lungs. Occasionally these bacteria can settle in the lungs and cause a lung infection called VAP. Nationwide Children's Hospital measures the rate of ventilator-associated pneumonia infections.
Why we measure:
VAP is a serious complication associated with being on a respirator and can make a patient much sicker, prolong recovery, and increase hospital stay. The rate of VAP is an indication of how safe our environment is for patients. We participate in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network to monitor and reduce the occurrence of VAP in the hospital. Limiting ventilator use, employing proper guidelines for hand washing and care of ventilator equipment, providing good mouth hygiene, and isolation of patients known to have highly contagious germs are all steps we take to reduce VAP.
How we measure:
VAP is calculated using the total number of patients infected for every 100 ventilator patient days. One ventilator patient day is defined as one patient using a ventilator for one day. VAP occurs only in patients receiving lung support from a ventilator.
How are we improving:
Preventing the development of VAP is a continuous effort for us. In 2007, we were able to reduce the hospital’s VAP rate by 78 percent compared to 2006. Through 2008, we saw a modest improvement to a level that is among the best in the country. Although these low VAP rates appear unchanged on a quarterly basis, the overall rate for 2009 is down 40% from 2008. In 2010, we will continue to implement the industry’s best practices and guidelines to combat VAP. Specifically, we will expand and monitor the use of VAP bundles especially a daily assessment of respiratory support and the use of oral care products.