Infection Control Today

APR 2015

ICT delivers to infection preventionists & their colleagues in the operating room, sterile processing/central sterile, environmental services & materials management, timely & relevant news, trends & information impacting the profession & the industry

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Page 16 of 36 16 ICT | April 2015 Evidence-Based Practice Drives Improvement Front row: Esther Atwood, AVH vice president of patient care services and chief nursing offi cer; Diane Lang, AVH infection preventionist; Renee Mackenzie, AVH clinical pharmacist; Gwyn Weil, AVH director of quality; Sheila Fine. Back row: Russ Livingston, chairman of the AVH board of directors; Margaret Meals, MD, AVH chief medical offi cer; Milissa Hammers, nurse manager of AVH Orthopedics; Karen Feinstein, president and CEO of Jewish Healthcare Foundation; and Milton Fine, chairman and president of The Fine Foundation. Photo by Renee Rosensteel By Kelly M. Pyrek T eamwork and a multi-modal approach to infection prevention and control were the driving forces behind positive change and improved patient outcomes at several institutions that were honored in late 2014 by the Fine Foundation and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF). The Fine Awards for Teamwork Excellence in Health Care recognized frontline workers in the greater Pittsburgh, Pa. area who elevate and disseminate best practices in infection control — a quality measure that inf uences whether providers receive incentive payments or incur penalties from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). "Infection control prevents unnecessary pain, expense and death," says Milton Fine, chairman of the Fine Foundation. "Working together with the energy, the creativity and the enthusiasm that we celebrate, we can reach clarity, sanity and effectiveness in our healthcare." "The recent Ebola outbreak in Africa, and isolated cases in the U.S.," says JHF president and CEO Karen Wolk Feinstein, PhD, "has raised public awareness of the need to control infection, but this certainly is not a new issue — healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) have been a major threat to patient safety since there was healthcare. We do, however, know that most HAIs can be prevented through strict adherence to evidence-based practices — Progress has been made in HAI prevention; but there is still much room for improvement." Fine Awards winners, chosen by a national panel of experts, were required to demonstrate evidence of sustainable quality improvement. Let's take a look at the initiatives of three winners in the infection prevention category. ALLEGHENY HEALTH NETWORK/ALLEGHENY VALLEY HOSPITAL The Platinum Award winner is Allegheny Health Network/Allegheny Valley Hospital for their initiative, "Eliminating Hospital-Acquired Clostridium diff cile Infections." Allegheny Valley Hospital (AVH) in Natrona Heights, Pa. is a 228-bed hospital that serves as an inpatient facility and offers a broad spectrum of programs, including medical and surgical services, inpatient psychiatric care and geriatric psychiatric care, cardiology, orthopedics and cancer care. It is part of the group of Allegheny Health Network of hospitals. Gwyn Weil, RN, BSN, director of medical staff performance improvement for Allegheny Valley Hospital and Allegheny Health Network, describes the scope of her institution's challenges regarding C. diff cile infections: "Clostridium diff cile infection (CDI) is one of the most common hospital-acquired infections and has been steadily on the rise over the last decade based on the CDC statistics. As a result of this national trend and our own increase in the CDI rate to 15.6 in f scal year 2009, AVH identif ed CDI prevention as a priority quality objective and ramped up efforts, starting with the assembly of a multidisciplinary team to lead efforts to reduce/eliminate the risk and incidence of CDI. There is a high volume of high-risk and/or immuno-suppressed patients from our cancer program and our SNF population. Additionally, there was no team effort focused on the CDI problem."

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