Fisher-Titus is celebrating 10 years without any cases of Ventilator Associated Pneumonia.
“Being VAP free for 10 years is such an accomplishment,” said Nichole Hance, BS, RRT, RCP, Manager, Respiratory Services. “The respiratory therapists and intensive care nursing team follows evidence-based protocols when caring for a ventilator patient. Throughout the past 10 years, there has been several changes that the team consistently adapts to provide high quality care. It makes me proud to know my respiratory team is providing the highest quality of care to their ventilator patients.”
Mechanical ventilation is an essential, often life-saving medical treatment used for patients with critical illness and respiratory failure. Mechanical ventilation can increase a patient’s risk of developing complications such as ventilator-associated pneumonia.
Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP for short) is a lung infection that develops in a person who has been on a ventilator. It is diagnosed with a combination of clinical signs and a culture of infected respiratory secretions. While many ventilator patients have pneumonia and that is the reason they are on a ventilator, VAP occurs because of the patient being on a ventilator for other reasons.
“This is an outstanding testament to the quality of care and commitment to our patients,” said, Heather Perry, RRT with 30 years of service at Fisher-Titus. “Ten years is a significant amount of time and this is a significant achievement.”
VAP generally increases the length of stay in an ICU and increases hospital costs for the patient. VAP has a 20-30% death rate among patients who develop it. Hospitals monitor their rates of ventilator-associated pneumonia cases per number of ventilator days (number of days that there has been a patient on a ventilator).
“I am very proud of this as a nurse here in critical care at Fisher-Titus Medical Center,” said Misty Fields, RN, Critical Care Specialist, and 30-year Fisher-Titus employee. “I believe it says a great deal about the commitment of the nursing staff to care for ventilator patients with consistent and best practice efforts. I think this inspires us to keep moving forward in adopting best evidence-based practice in our care of all patients.”
In order to avoid VAP, health care providers need to take preventative measures while a patient is on a ventilator. These measures include bed elevation, suctioning, oral care, and not breaking the circuit from the ventilator and the tube.
“I think it is a great accomplishment for our facility to be able to say we have not had a VAP in 10 years,” said Andrea Michel, RRT, Respiratory Therapist with 25 years of service at Fisher-Titus. “We are all committed to giving the best care possible to our patients and this is an important milestone that represents that. I know we are dedicated to extending this successful achievement and will continue to strive for excellence in ventilator patient care.”
In the past ten years, Fisher-Titus has had over 2,200 ventilator days with no VAPs. The last VAP was in July of 2010.
“The detailed, quality care the ICU and Respiratory Therapy staff provide for our patients has allowed us to achieve great outcomes,” said, MacKenzie Buck, MSN, RN, Critical Care Manager. “Following evidence-based practices, being flexible and creative during difficult times, and holding each other accountable by working together as a team has allowed us to achieve this accomplishment that very few organizations can say they have achieved”
Photo from L to R: Lisa Wallace, ACNP-BC, Pulmonary Medicine Nurse Practitioner; Dr. Gary Moorman, Chief Medical Officer; Keera Williams, Charge Nurse; MacKenzie Buck, Critical Care Manager; Andrea Michel, Registered Respiratory Therapist; Matt Mattner, Chief Operation Officer; Stacy Daniel, Nurse Supervisor; Misty Fields, Critical Care Specialist; Stacia Schneiter, Registered Respiratory Therapist; Suzanne Farmer, Strategic Initiatives Director; Nichole Hance, Manager of Respiratory Services; Katie Chieda, Chief Nursing Officer; Heather Wierzba, Vice President of Nursing Services; Kayla Pfeiffer, Patient Safety & Accreditation Manager; Linda Stevenson, Chief Information Officer; Kelsie Kunisch, Assistant Nurse Manager; Janet Barr, Staff Nurse