Hopkins Quality and Safety Research Group, led by
award-winning patient safety
researcher Peter Pronovost, has received gifts worth more
than $2 million to expand efforts to
further reduce central line-associated bloodstream
infections in hospital intensive care units. The
philanthropic support comes through a matching fund gift
from an anonymous donor and the Sandler
Foundation of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund.
The money will support a national effort to replicate
in as many as 20 other states a simple
"checklist" tool and program developed by QSRG that has
been widely credited with saving nearly
1,800 lives and $200 million annually across the state of
Michigan, which implemented the program in
The checklist, drawn from proven precautions, has been
adopted, along with training in its use,
by more than 100 Michigan ICUs, which report a drop in
bloodstream infections by up to 66 percent.
Often referred to as central venous catheters, central
line catheters are tubes placed into a
large vein in a patient's neck, chest or groin to carry
drugs or other fluids or for collecting blood
samples. Each year, an estimated 250,000 cases of central
line-associated bloodstream infections
occur in hospitals in the United States, and an estimated
30,000 to 62,000 patients who get the
infections die as a result, according to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention. The cost of
such infections is estimated nationally to be $3
Pronovost, a professor of anesthesiology, critical
care medicine and surgery, is the founding
director of QSRG and medical director of Johns Hopkins'
Center for Innovation in Quality Patient
Care. Earlier this year, the John D. and Catherine T.
MacArthur Foundation awarded a $500,000
"genius grant" to Pronovost, and in late September the U.S.
House of Representatives' Committee on
Oversight and Government Reform, chaired by Henry A.
Waxman, D-Calif., released a report strongly
endorsing Pronovost's program, noting that its use has the
potential to save thousands of lives and
millions of dollars throughout the United States.
In early October, the Agency for Healthcare Research
and Quality awarded a $3
million contract aimed at reducing central line-associated
bloodstream infections in hospital ICUs to a
consortium made up of the Health Research and Education
Trust of the American Hospital
Association, Johns Hopkins and the Michigan Health &
Pronovost was named one of the world's "most
influential people" of 2008 by Time magazine for
his work in patient safety.