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Birmingham hospital cuts death rate through drugs scrutiny

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A hospital has cut emergency mortality rates by a fifth through rigourous scrutiny of how antibiotics are administered to patients.

Julie Moore, nurse and chief executive of University Hospitals Birmingham, told a fringe session at the NHS Confederation’s annual conference that the trust’s emergency mortality rate had fallen from 5.3% to 4.3% in two years since the trust began to monitor the administration of antibiotics.

Ms Moore, a registered nurse who led the NHS Future Forum’s listening exercise on education and training, said: “Theres a lot of evidence that patients with a raised white count, with a sepsis who don’t get their antibiotics on time and appropriately, don’t do as well.

“Most of our patients in hospital have drugs – for 50% of them, that’s their only treatment.”

The trust monitors the administration of drugs electronically, against the times when the drugs are prescribed. Where a patient has two missed doses, the trust holds a “root cause analysis meeting”, attended by the chief executive, in which clinical teams answer for the omissions in care.

Ms Moore described the meetings as “not particularly comfortable for either side”.

“We don’t have a no blame culture – we have a fair blame culture and hold people to account for the actions the did, or did not do”.

Data is also gathered for individual nurses.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • So by following the DoH Surviving Sepsis guidance you save lives? Go figure. When I saw the headline I thought the hospital was being innovative....

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  • I guess this could be applied to many other medications. we seem to becoming a polypharmacy nation...once again!!

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