Children's Hospital of Wisconsin's groundbreaking work prevents bloodstream infections

December 15, 2011

MILWAUKEE - Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, along with 72 hospitals with 91 teams from pediatric and cardiac intensive care units around the country, is participating in groundbreaking work in preventing bloodstream infections among hospitalized children and has saved the pediatric health care system more than $100 million. Thomas Rice, MD, medical director, critical care services, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin; professor and chief, Pediatric Critical Care, The Medical College of Wisconsin, co-authored the findings that were published in the October 2011 issue of Pediatrics.

The Quality Transformation Network team at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin includes members from the PICU, Central Access Team, Pharmacy and Outcomes Department. Those team members are: Rainer Gedeit, MD, program director, Pediatric Intensive Care and medical director, Respiratory Therapy, Children's Hospital; associate professor, Pediatric Critical Care, The Medical College; Robert Niebler, MD, pediatric critical care services, Children's Hospital; assistant professor, Pediatric Critical Care, The Medical College; Deb Soetenga, APN, Krista Colpaert, RN, Mary Rotar, RN, Cecilia Lang, APN, Jeanne Braby, APN, Linda Flannery, RN, Kristen Werginz, RN, Laura Shea, RN, Teresa Schaefer, RN, Denise Triscari, RPh, Michelle Yenter, RN, Anna Kaufman, RN, Kristina Pallett, RN and Melissa North, RN.

"The power of our success to save lives and money comes from collaborating with other children's hospitals combined with the strong team approach we have adopted here that includes hospital leadership, staff and families," Said Dr. Gedeit. Children's Hospital's pediatric intensive care unit has participated in work since 2006 and decreased the number of bloodstream infections by more than 70 percent; preventing 97 infections and saving more than $3 million.

After five years of quality improvement in pediatric intensive care and hematology/oncology units, children's hospitals in the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) Quality Transformation Network are estimated to have saved 355 lives, prevented 2,964 central line infections and passed $103 million in cost savings. The Return on investment for the network of participating hospitals is 36:1; that is, for every dollar in participation fees, $36 dollars in healthcare costs have been saved.

The National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) Quality Transformation Network is the largest safety and quality improvement network in pediatrics. Using a model distinguished by collaboration combined with rigorous methodologies, tightly coordinated implementation, and rich large data sets, participating hospitals are achieving improvements at lower cost, more efficiently, and faster than any single hospital can achieve working independently.

About Children's Hospital and Health System

Children's Hospital and Health System is the region's only independent health care system dedicated solely to the health and well being of children. Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, the health system's flagship member, is recognized as one of the leading pediatric health care centers in the United States, named one of America's Best Children's Hospitals by U.S.News & World Report. Other health system entities include Children's Hospital of Wisconsin-Fox Valley, Children's Hospital and Health System Foundation, Children's Medical Group, Children's Physician Group, Children's Specialty Group, Children's Service Society of Wisconsin, Children's Health Education Center, Children's Research Institute and Children's Community Health Plan. In 2010, the health system invested more than $105 million back into the community to improve the health status of children through medical care, advocacy, education and pediatric medical research. For more information visit the website at