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'The Business of Health Care Report'

Halting Hospital Infections at the Door: The MRSA Screening Pilot

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I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

The Texas Legislature’s recent vote to make hospital infection rates public brings a renewed focus to improving the quality and safety of our health care system. Texas Health Resources’ family of hospitals has long advocated for improved hospital quality and safety, and we are big believers in practicing what we preach.

That is why we monitor hand-washing habits at all of our 13 hospitals. We encourage our employees to report mistakes. We invest in chief quality officers to oversee safety improvements in our hospitals. And we launched an innovative pilot project at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas to screen patients in the intensive care unit for antibiotic-resistant staph infections.

If we can identify patients who come into the hospital with infections before they are mixed into the general patient population, we are one step closer to preventing healthcare-associated infections.

These are just a few of the safety initiatives under way inside the walls of our hospitals. But our efforts don’t stop there. It’s important to remember that standing by and waiting for problems to arrive at our doorstep is not the answer. With our many community benefit programs, we reach outside our walls to help improve the health of our communities. One program involves going to local elementary schools and teaching children the importance of hand washing, one of the oldest – and best – ways to fight the spread of infection.

For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based hospitals – Harris Methodist, Presbyterian and Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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