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Through a collaboration with Toyota, Children’s HealthSM, the leading pediatric health system in North Texas, announced today it has successfully reduced rates of central line associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs) by 75 percent with patients in the gastroenterology unit.

Toyota Production System Support Center (TSSC) and Children’s Health teams, including system leadership, clinical managers and nurses, have been collaborating since June 2016 to improve patient safety and quality of care. The first area of focus was with CLABSIs and patients in the gastroenterology unit at Children’s Medical Center Dallas, the flagship hospital of Children’s Health. Children’s Medical Center Dallas was one of four hospitals selected by Children’s Hospitals’ Solutions for Patient Safety, a network of more than 100 children’s hospitals in the U.S. and Canada focused on reducing patient harm, to work with TSSC to address CLABSI rates.

CLABSIs can be acquired within a hospital setting when bacteria or other germs enter the bloodstream through a patient’s central line, a plastic tube placed in a large vein that routes to the heart. These infections are serious but can often be successfully treated. Approximately 250,000 CLABSIs occur annually in hospitals across the country, according to a study published in the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing. Additionally, CLABSIs cost more than $6 billion in health care, according to a study published in the Journal of Infusion Nursing.

The teams worked together to identify unintended process breakdowns. Through TSSC’s process methodology and expertise, Children’s Health determined the immediate environment of care is vital in the process of maintaining cleanliness of the central line.

“Patients and their families place a sacred trust in us to take care of their children and make them well,” said Rustin Morse, M.D., vice president and chief quality officer at Children’s Health. “While there will always be risks associated with specialized treatment in hospital settings, we are grateful for the expertise of TSSC. Its team of the finest process improvement experts in the world helped us minimize those risks. We are also tremendously proud of our clinical team members for their commitment to excellence in patient safety.”

By the end of 2017, Children’s Health will roll out improved practices from the collaboration system-wide, ultimately empowering team members to implement improved care processes to prevent infections across multiple hospital units. Additionally, Children’s Health plans to share its findings with other health care systems across the country in hopes of reducing preventable harm to children everywhere.

The role of TSSC is to share its manufacturing know-how to help organizations optimize the way they work by making process improvements to improve safety, quality, productivity and lead time (customer wait time). More than 300 organizations – including some of North America’s most successful enterprises such as the Food Bank of New York City – have leveraged TSSC’s support and the Toyota Production System (TPS) methodology to ignite organizational change.

“Children’s Health invited us into their units to see the clinical processes firsthand, and together we were able to implement a program that we hope can be a model process,” said Jamie Bonini, vice president of TSSC. “By leveraging the methods of the Toyota Production System, like problem solving, standardization and rigorous training, we are pleased to help make life better for children in our new home in Texas.”

Since recently moving its headquarters to North Texas, Toyota has collaborated with Children’s Health on local and national initiatives, including Buckle Up for Life, a child car seat safety program in conjunction with Cincinnati Children’s. Additionally, TSSC and Children’s Health have begun process improvement work on another patient safety initiative to increase efficiencies in the distribution and administration of expressed breast milk. For more information on Children’s Health or TSSC, please visit www.childrens.com or www.tssc.com.

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