Christiana Care wins ECRI Institute award


Christiana Care Health System has won ECRI Institute’s 9th Annual Health Devices Achievement Award.

The award recognizes an outstanding initiative undertaken by an ECRI Institute member healthcare institution that improves patient safety, reduces costs, or otherwise facilitates better strategic management of health technology.

The winning submission, Best Practices in Telemetry Management: Re-defining Use While Maintaining Patient Safety and Reducing Costs, describes Christiana Care’s successful effort to reduce the overutilization of non-intensive-care cardiac telemetry throughout its health system by redesigning its cardiac telemetry processes.

The intent of the initiative was to improve patient safety, allow clinical staff to focus on their patients’ direct care requirements, and help staff use healthcare resources more wisely.

A multidisciplinary team led by Robert Dressler, managing director, vice chair, department of medicine, set a goal of reducing the use of non-intensive-care cardiac telemetry by 20 percent within 12 months.

The team’s efforts resulted in a 43 percent reduction in the total number of patients on telemetry and a 47 percent reduction in average telemetry hours, with no adverse impact on patient safety—results that have been maintained a year after implementation. These improvements resulted in a 70 percent reduction in total telemetry costs for the health system, for an estimated annual savings of $4.8 million.

Christiana Care’s outstanding telemetry management study was recently published as a Research Letter in the September 22, 2014 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.

“We are honored that ECRI Institute has recognized the innovative systems-based approach our team took to improve the value-based care Christiana Care Health System provides non-ICU cardiac telemetry patients,” said Dr Dressler. “Championed by Cardiology, our team brought together the expertise to enhance the effectiveness of our bedside clinicians and nurses as caring partners for our patients.”

ECRI Institute’s James Keller, vice president, health technology evaluation and safety, added: “We congratulate Christiana Care for its winning initiative. The team did an outstanding job of demonstrating how to safely control and actually reduce the use of telemetry monitoring. A major benefit of this initiative was to reduce monitoring-related alarm fatigue, which is a serious problem in healthcare institutions. This project is an excellent model that healthcare organizations nationwide can adopt.”

Christiana Care Health System, ECRI Institute, US