Kimberly-Clark today announced the recipients of the third annual HAI WATCHDOG Awards, recognizing the efforts of healthcare professionals working together to prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) through staff and patient education and use of best practices.
HAIs are the most frequent adverse event in healthcare worldwide, affecting hundreds of millions of patients each year. HAIs cost more Americans their lives than breast cancer and HIV/AIDS combined, accounting for nearly 99,000 deaths annually. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Estimating Health Care-Associated Infections and Deaths in U.S. Hospitals, 2002. Many of these infections are preventable.
“HAI prevention is a facility-wide initiative requiring engagement from all departments, personnel and disciplines,” said Joanne Bauer, President, Kimberly-Clark Health Care. “In its third year, Kimberly-Clark expanded the HAI WATCHDOG Awards program to include an environmental services initiative to recognize the critical role that frontline environmental services staff play in the healthcare environment. With this addition, we provide a unique platform for the sharing of infection prevention best practices from all corners of the hospital.”
The panel-judged entries were reviewed by healthcare professionals with expertise in infection prevention and evaluated based on innovation and impact of program results. The clinician’s choice category recognizes education and awareness programs with non-measureable results and the winner was selected by online public voting of fellow healthcare professionals.
“Clinicians across the U.S. and throughout the world work hard to prevent HAIs on a daily basis. The HAI WATCHDOG Awards program recognizes those champions who go above and beyond to document and share their strategies for success,” said Dr. William Jarvis, former Director of the Office of Extramural Research at the CDC’s National Center for Infectious Diseases. “This year’s recipients symbolize the best in new ideas around HAI prevention. As a judge, I am thrilled to see the continued pursuit of best practices and am hopeful for a future with greater awareness around HAI prevention.”
HAI WATCHDOG Awards Recipients
Patient HAI Education Initiative:
· Huntsville Hospital, Huntsville, Ala. – In an effort to reduce overall infection rates at the facility, Huntsville Hospital set out to increase hand hygiene compliance, which was at 42 percent. The hospital launched an education program for both its clinicians and patients, resulting in an increase in its hand hygiene compliance rate to 87.5 percent.
· NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, N.Y. – Faced with the challenge of reducing the rate of Clostridium difficile (C. diff.) cases in the facility, NYU Langone Medical Center enhanced the cleaning of frequently touched surfaces in the patient zone. As a result, the C. diff rates decreased significantly, and the building service department received funding to add additional staff to the program.
Fewer Than 300 Beds:
· Christiana Care Health System’s Wilmington Hospital, Wilmington, Del. – Leadership engaged frontline staff in a comprehensive unit based safety program in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Wilmington Hospital, which resulted in zero central line-associative bloodstream infections in the ICU since implementation in 2011.
More Than 300 Beds:
· UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, Calif. – Recognizing that Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia (VAP) rates in its ICU prolonged patient stays and increased costs per patient, UC Davis Medical Center formed a team to reduce VAP rates in its unit. Within one year, the facility decreased its VAP rate, with four ICUs reporting zero incidences of VAP. Overall, the team was able to enhance the safety and quality of patient care, and improved staff accountability and engagement.
· Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington, Del. – Determined to eliminate HAIs in both of Christiana Care’s hospitals, leadership at Christiana Care Health System engaged all of its employees, patients and the community in a multi-pronged approach to address prevention, education, consistent application of best practices and transparency of results. As a result, hand hygiene compliance rates exceeded 90 percent, VAP rates in the ICUs decreased by more than 80 percent, and overall hospital infection rates dropped more than 50 percent.
· Methodist Willowbrook Hospital, Houston, Texas, “Chasing Zero: Reducing Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia in the Intensive Care Unit.”
· Lakeridge Health Oshawa, Oshawa, Ontario, “Clostridium Difficile Toolkit: From Outbreak to Lunch Break.”
· Georgia Regents Medical Center, Augusta, Ga., “Asepsis Program: A Simulation Laboratory Program to Teach Asepsis and Infection Prevention to Medical Students and Residents.”
· Specialty Hospital Washington, Hadley Campus, Washington, D.C., “SHW Hadley Infection Control Committee.”
Kimberly-Clark awarded an educational grant to the healthcare facilities who received first place in each category in each region. The Australia and New Zealand programs are open for submissions until Sept. 30, 2013. Winners of the U.K., Australia and New Zealand HAI WATCHDOG Awards will be announced later this year.