An East Ayrshire hospital which had a higher than average patient death rate has shown an 18% drop in mortality after new procedures were brought in.
Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock had a higher patient mortality rate in 2007 than the Scottish average.
This fell below the national average for the first time last year after the Scottish Patient Safety Programme (SPSP) was implemented in 2008.
The new approach uses an emergency response team for at-risk patients.
Under this "back to basics" project, "deteriorating" patients are quickly identified through close monitoring of their blood pressure, pulse and temperature.
They are then given close attention by a "roving team of nursing and medical experts".
Since adopting the SPSP, Crosshouse has also seen a drop in the average length of stay in intensive care.
This almost halved in six months from 5.6 days in June 2010 to 2.9 days in December 2010.
The hospital has also not recorded "a single central line bloodstream infection" in intensive care for 462 days.
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon described the results achieved at Crosshouse Hospital as "quite startling".
"An 18% drop in hospital mortality over three years and going more than a year without a central line infection are remarkable improvements," she said.
"The emergency response team that's been introduced at Crosshouse rescues between one and two patients a week on average.
"This means lives are being saved in Kilmarnock every week thanks directly to the Scottish Patient Safety Programme and the Quality Strategy."