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University of Iowa News Release

June 14, 2006

UI Hospitals and Clinics Helps Lead Lifesaving Campaign

Leaders with University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics announced today that 18 months of participation in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's landmark 100,000 Lives Campaign have resulted in changes that improve care and prevent avoidable deaths.

Initially launched in December 2004, the 100,000 Lives Campaign is the first-ever national effort to promote saving a specified number of lives in hospitals by a specific target date -- June 14, 2006 -- through the implementation of proven, evidence-based, practices and procedures.

UI Hospitals and Clinics has successfully implemented the following practices: 

--Activate a Rapid Response Team at the first sign that a patient's condition is worsening and may lead to a more serious medical emergency.

--Prevent patients from dying of heart attacks by delivering evidence-based care, including appropriate administration of aspirin to prevent blood clots and Beta blockers to prevent further heart attacks.

--Prevent medication errors by ensuring that accurate and continually updated lists of patients' medications are referenced during their hospital stay, particularly at transition points.

--Prevent patients who are receiving medicines and fluids through central lines from developing infections by following five steps, including proper handwashing and cleaning the patient's skin with "chlorhexidine," a type of soap.

--Prevent patients undergoing surgery from developing infections by following a series of steps, including the timely administration of antibiotics. 

--Prevent patients on ventilators from developing pneumonia by following four steps, including raising the head of the patient's bed by 30 and 40 degrees.

The Rapid Response Team (RRT) at UI Hospitals and Clinics is led by John Fieselmann, M.D. The RRT serves as a mentor program at the state and national level. Since its implementation, RRT has been summoned 137 times, and this fast action resulted in an 82 percent hospital discharge survival rate for these incredibly sick patients.

The 100,000 Lives Campaign is not complete, and UI Hospitals and Clinics will continue to increase its efforts and commitment to these evidenced-based practices.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,