Large-scale trial included four Medical City Healthcare hospitals in North Texas

A study conducted by Medical City Healthcare parent company HCA Healthcare and published in the current issue of The Lancet shows an infection control technique achieved a 31 percent reduction in bloodstream infections and nearly a 40 percent reduction in antibiotic-resistant bacteria among non-ICU patients with central line catheters and lumbar drains.

Medical City Fort Worth, Medical City Las Colinas, Medical City North Hills, and Medical City Plano were among the 53 HCA Healthcare hospitals to participate in the study during a 21-month period involving 330,000 patients. All 14 Medical City Healthcare hospitals have implemented the new processes as part of continuing efforts to prevent hospital infections.

The study, known as the ABATE Infection (active bathing to eliminate infection) Trial was conducted among non-ICU patients to evaluate whether daily bathing with the antiseptic soap chlorhexidine (CHG)—and in those patients with MRSA, adding the nasal antibiotic mupirocin—more effectively reduced hospital-acquired bacterial infections than bathing with ordinary soap and water. Researchers found that patients with medical devices such as central lines and lumbar drains experienced a substantial benefit if they received the CHG/mupirocin intervention. Compared to patients outside the intervention, they experienced a 31 percent decrease in bloodstream infections and a nearly 40 percent decrease in antibiotic resistant organisms, specifically MRSA and vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE).

Because it was a large-scale trial conducted under “real world” conditions at community hospitals—the results of ABATE are believed to be generally applicable to hospitals across the country. A learning health system which uses data from approximately 31 million annual patient encounters to help continuously improve care, HCA Healthcare maintains the healthcare field’s largest system for analyzing clinical data because of its size, scope and patient diversity.

“This reflects HCA Healthcare’s commitment to be a true learning healthcare system,” said Jonathan B. Perlin, MD, HCA Healthcare’s president, clinical services, and chief medical officer and one of the study’s authors. “We use the knowledge we capture from delivering care to millions of patients a year for continuous improvement and innovation, not only to fuel our own quality improvement efforts but also to solve vexing societal challenges such as infection prevention.”

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are a serious patient safety issue and their elimination is a top priority for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). On any given day, about one in 31 hospital patients has at least one HAI, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“This study demonstrates how Medical City Healthcare hospitals benefit from HCA Healthcare’s unprecedented ability to capture data to improve patient care,” said Miguel Benet, Chief Medical Officer at Medical City Healthcare. “HCA Healthcare’s scale enables us to gain knowledge and data from hospitals through the HCA Healthcare network, ultimately allowing us to deliver on our mission to the care and improvement of human life.”

The ABATE Infection Trial builds on the REDUCE MRSA Trial research conducted at HCA Healthcare hospitals and published by the New England Journal of Medicine in 2013 that documented how intensive care units in HCA Healthcare hospitals dramatically reduced infections and antibiotic resistant bacteria.

The ABATE Trial was conducted through a longstanding collaboration among HCA Healthcare, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, the University of California Irvine, and Rush University. It was funded by the National Institutes of Health with contributed effort from HCA Healthcare.