Home E-Weekly May 6, 2014

When Fighting HAIs, Knowledge is Power

Published: May 5, 2014

Is your facility waging an ongoing war against healthcare-associated infections? Make sure to keep your administrators in the loop on your progress. According to recent research, weekly e-mails to the leaders of a large Florida hospital helped to curb a resistant superbug's outbreak.

The study, led by L. Silvia Munoz-Price, MD, PhD, of the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine, was published in the May issue of the American Journal of Infection Control. Dr. Munoz-Price and her colleagues noted that the multi-drug resistant organism Acinetobacter baumannii had been bedeviling the hospital's ICU patients for nearly 2 decades despite patient screening upon administration, isolation, surface disinfection tracking, hand hygiene intervention and other routine efforts.

When the hospital's infection control director e-mailed weekly comprehensive reports on the situation to head administrators, physicians, nurses and other leaders, the transmission rate fell by 63%. The e-mails recounted the previous week's surveillance findings, environmental cultures and A. baumannii-positive patients and objects.

"These regular, highly visible communications allowed us to create a sense of accountability for new cases that unified both the leadership and providers toward the common goal of decreasing new acquisitions of carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii," the study's authors wrote.

David Bernard

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