Mission Health Finds ‘Sedation Holidays’ Improve Patient Outcomes

By Heath Nettles | Dec 09, 2011

Mission Health continually works to improve patient outcomes. One recent milestone is a successful trial with “sedation holidays.”

Mission initiated this program within its medical/surgical intensive care unit. During the trials, patients had their sedative infusions withheld allowing them to wake and breathe briefly on their own. The trials showed that daily interruption of sedation led to a decrease in days needed on a ventilator and in the ICU, without increasing adverse events.

Once patients are taken off sedation and can breathe on their own, they can get out of bed and walk around more quickly, helping to avoid infection, pneumonia and pressure ulcers.

“I’m proud of how our team has come together and increased their capacity to learn and apply that knowledge,” said Ronald A. Paulus, M.D., president and CEO of Mission Health. “They are seeing patients improve right in front of their eyes, which energizes them to take on the next initiative.”

Improvements in quality have resulted in:

—  Shorter length of stay per patient

—  Decreased number of vent days per patient

—  Decreased total number of respiratory infections

—  Decreased total number of urinary tract infections

In addition to improving patient outcomes, the quality improvements have also created $1.47 million in cost savings for Mission Health.

Mission plans to extend this initiative to other areas of the hospital.


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