Nurses at private hospitals, Veterans Affairs and a university teamed up to look at the rates of hospital-acquired pneumonia in patients who aren’t on ventilators.
Sacramento State University’s Dian Baker says those cases are not widely reported.
“Hospitals weren’t going to be paid if patients on ventilators got pneumonia," she says. "Meanwhile, the other patients that weren’t on the ventilators were also getting pneumonia, but not receiving the same amount of attention.”
Baker says the team designed a year-long program of basic oral care for patients at one hospital system. At the end of the year, pneumonia rates went down by 37 percent.
“Oral health care was the most modifiable. We felt it would be the easiest to implement, and its basic nursing care, and should be happening," says Baker. "So we just thought, let’s start with that! And we had these wonderful results.”
The nurse team estimated that eight deaths were prevented, almost two million dollars were saved, and 500 hospital days were averted.
Health insurance rates will rise an average of 4 percent next year for people buying insurance through California’s health exchange.
Covered California will announce its 2016 health insurance rates Monday.
The California Senate held two hearings today as part of special legislative sessions ordered by Governor Jerry Brown. The sessions will deal with infrastructure and health financing. But some lawmakers wonder what they will accomplish.
Advocates for the developmentally disabled are furious after being left out of this year’s California budget deal. They held a tense rally at the Capitol Wednesday.
In Reno and around the country, community paramedics are providing more primary and preventive care and taking non-emergency patients to facilities other than emergency rooms.