Christiana Care Health System has been recognized with two HAI Watchdog Awards, a national contest by Kimberly-Clark that recognizes the efforts of health care professionals working together to prevent health-care-associated infections through staff and patient education and the use of best practices.
Christiana Care was the only health system in the nation to receive more than one HAI Watchdog Award.
Christiana Care was recognized in the health care system category for a successful, multi-pronged effort to reduce the rate of a range of health-care-associated infections, including ventilator-associated pneumonia, Clostridium difficile and central-line-associated bloodstream infections. Christiana Care’s Wilmington Hospital was recognized in the “fewer than 300 beds” category for its successful effort in eliminating central-line-associated bloodstream infections.
“These recognitions are reflective of our commitment of working together to significantly reduce the risk of infection and harm to our patients,” said Marci Drees, M.D., the infection prevention officer and hospital epidemiologist for Christiana Care. “Every member of our team shares the common pursuit to uncover and eliminate any health-care-associated infection or any other issue that has even the slightest potential for harm.”
Christiana Care’s systemwide prevention program to protect patients from health-care-associated infections includes a comprehensive unit safety program expanded to intensive-care units, emergency departments and operating rooms. The program resulted in significant reduction in rates of central-line-associated bloodstream infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia. Surgical-site infections have been prevented through near perfect compliance with the Surgical Care Improvement Project process measures. Christiana Care’s program also includes the creation of an award-winning educational video on infection prevention. Overall hospital infection rates have dropped more than 50 percent and have generated an estimated savings of nearly $10 million.
Wilmington Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit joined the national comprehensive unit-based safety program known as the CUSP initiative to reduce infections. Through CUSP, the interdisciplinary unit staff were able to focus on fostering a culture of patient safety, consistently implementing evidence-based practices, monitoring and transparency of infection rates. Wilmington Hospital has not experienced a single central-line-associated bloodstream infection since August 2011.
“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,” added Dr. William Jarvis, former director of the Office of Extramural Research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’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.”
The panel-judged entries were reviewed by health care 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 by fellow health care professionals.
“HAI prevention is a facility-wide initiative requiring engagement from all departments, personnel and disciplines,” said Joanne Bauer, president, Kimberly-Clark Health Care, which created the HAI WATCHDOG Awards in recognition of HAI champions who are making a difference in reducing and preventing these serious, often life-threatening infections.