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For Immediate Release
For Information Contact:
Patricia Montone Charvat

Maryland Hospital Initiatives Make Patient Care Safer:
Hospital Success Stories

Baltimore, Maryland, March 22, 2007 - Since its creation in 2004 by the Maryland Legislature and the Maryland Health Care Commission, the Maryland Patient Safety Center has been working towards making Maryland hospitals the safest in the nation. The Center, developed as a joint venture between the Maryland Hospital Association and Delmarva Foundation, works with hospitals and health care providers to study the causes of medical errors and unsafe practices and put practical, evidence-based improvements in place to prevent errors and deliver safer patient care.


  • Trained more than 4,500 health care professionals in strategies to make patient care safer.
  • Earned the national John M. Eisenberg Award from the Joint Commission and National Quality Forum for patient safety and quality in 2005.
  • Conducting intensive learning collaboratives involving teams of physicians and other health care clinicians over extended periods of time to help hospitals reduce health care-associated infections, including central lines, catheters, and ventilators in hospital Intensive Care Units (ICUs); improve safety in Emergency Departments (EDs); reduce deaths among newborns; and reduce the spread of health care-associated antibiotic resistant infections known as MRSA.

ICU Collaborative
Over a twelve-month period, clinical leaders from 37 hospitals and 52 ICUs set out to eliminate preventable health care-associated infections and better coordinate health care delivery so patients leave the ICU healthier and faster.  Working with national experts, hospitals reduced ventilator-associated pneumonia by 20 percent and reduced catheter-associated blood stream infections by 36 percent.  The estimated savings from these two interventions ranges from $1.2 million to $2.8 million.

  • Franklin Square Hospital Center (Baltimore) reduced surgical site infections by 50 percent and reported significant improvements in compliance with national standards for surgical care.
  • Peninsula Regional Medical Center (Salisbury) reduced ventilator associated pneumonia and had only one infection in the first year of this initiative.  Today, they are working toward the “ideal state” of zero infections and pneumonia. 
  • Sinai Hospital of Baltimore decreased central line infections by revamping their central line kit and using a central line bundle for each patient.

ED Collaborative
29 Maryland hospitals emergency departments are participating in an 18-month collaborative to make ED care safer, more timely, and more efficient.  Collaborative goals include the elimination of bloodstream infections from the ED, 100 percent appropriate time-sensitive care, and reduced ED wait times.

  • Atlantic General Hospital (Berlin) is now seeing 90 percent of its ED patients within 30 minutes of arrival.
  • Union Hospital (Elkton) is reducing its central line infection rate in the ED, after reducing these infections in the ICU to zero for the past 12 months.
  • Shore Health System (Easton) dramatically reduced times for patient admissions in the ED by introducing bed huddles to increase teamwork and communication.
  • Franklin Square (Baltimore) improved its pneumonia care in the ED by reducing time to administer antibiotics.
  • Atlantic General Hospital (Berlin) is minimizing medication errors by implementing an Electronic Medication Administration Record (eMAR) which uses barcode technology on both the medication itself and the patient’s wristband to ensure that the right patient is getting the right medication.
  • St. Joseph Medical Center (Towson) significantly improved the accuracy of its blood drawing in the ED to speed patient turnaround.
  • St. Mary’s Hospital (Leonardtown) implemented a five-level system that triages all patients and uses advanced nursing protocols to improve ED patient flow.

Perinatal Collaborative
Over 250 participants attended the first learning session of the Perinatal Collaborative, which has just been launched by the Maryland Patient Safety Center, in partnership with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.  The goal of this collaborative is to reduce infant mortality and increase patient safety to mothers and infants in Maryland hospitals.  Nearly every hospital with an OB unit is participating or sharing best practices in this Maryland Patient Safety Center collaborative.

MRSA Project
Last year two Maryland hospitals, Franklin Square Hospital Center and The Johns Hopkins Hospital, took part in a national pilot study using the innovative positive deviance technique to reduce the spread of MRSA.  Fifteen more hospitals in Maryland and DC are now learning the technique to improve active surveillance and compliance with hand hygiene and other strategies to reduce the spread of infection. 


  • All Maryland hospitals voluntarily participate in a medication errors project to survey their medication practices and receive personalized recommendations for areas of improvement.
  • Maryland hospitals saw 15 percent improvement in the median score of the availability of patient information in prescribing, and 20 percent improvement in the state median score in staff competency and orientation to medication use in the five years the survey has been administered.   

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The Maryland Patient Safety Center, a joint venture of the Maryland Hospital Association and the Delmarva Foundation, was created by the legislature and established by the Maryland Health Care Commission in 2004.   Through its collaborative, non-regulatory approach, it works with hospitals and health care providers to study the causes of medical errors and unsafe practices and put practical, evidence-based improvements in place to prevent errors and deliver safe patient care.