Tuesday, August 12, 2014
The Princeton Transitional team (day shift shown here) used a team effort to reduce HAIs and had sensational success.
Lowering HAIs by 60 percent? Here's how Princeton Transitional Care did it!
By Doug Janz
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – One of the best things hospitals can do is to reduce HAIs – hospital-acquired infections. Doing so means patients have a much better hospital experience and usually go home sooner, plus it’s a great cost-saver for both patients and hospitals.
Mountain States has made a great push at all facilities to reduce HAIs, and the team at Princeton Transitional Care is among the leaders. They’ve made some dramatic improvements, reducing HAIs by 60 percent compared to FY12 and FY13.
In FY12, there were 44 HAIs, including five CLABSIs (central line-associated bloodstream infections), and in FY13 the numbers were 42 HAIs and five CLABSIs. But in FY14, Princeton Transitional cut those totals to 17 HAIs and only one CLABSI!
“They’ve truly made a difference,” said Katie Neel, infection prevention practitioner for Princeton as well as Quillen Rehab Hospital and Franklin Woods. “This was not by luck. The team worked hard to correct processes, and it shows in their numbers.
“I’m extremely proud of this team and I’m honored to work with them!”
Bringing down the HAI rates took help from team members across the board – Infection Prevention, Environmental Services, Nursing, even Engineering,
From a nursing standpoint, the staff concentrated on central line infections and increased monitoring of the tubing. They did frequent (three to four times a week) rounding in each room to make sure the tubing was changed on time, capped appropriately and Curos (disinfecting port protectors) were in use. They put an emphasis on labeling so that if the tubing is not labeled, it gets pulled.
There’s also been a particular focus on central line dressing changes. A log is kept of each new admission with the date the dressing is due.
“We also gave patient education on admission for each patient with a central line or foley, and we discussed with them the ways to help prevent infection, along with trying to educate the family more,” said Amy Ferguson, RN. “And we really tried to hold each other more accountable for hand washing.
“This has truly been a unit-focused effort and I'm extremely proud of the group we have at Princeton and their dedication to our patients.”
Princeton used “secret shoppers” who monitored team member hand hygiene and brought it to the attention of anyone who wasn’t in compliance so they could correct their behavior.
Lynn Langan, Director of Nursing at Princeton Transitional Care, gave a lot of credit to the EVS team, calling them “exceptional. They not only clean the rooms properly, they pay attention to not-so-obvious areas and ensure they are clean and clutter-free to help prevent infections. And Engineering ensures quick responses to things like water-stained tiles, leaks, temperature control, and moisture-related problems to prevent possible issues for the patients.”
Nursing Home Administrator Ryan Youngblood referred to a study that looked at the relationship between patient perceptions of general facility practices and the infection rates at the facilities. The study found that hospitals with high levels of cleanliness and nurse attentiveness tend to have lower rates of infections, and that the patient is more compliant with the demands of the care they are given.
“Our nurses and environmental staff have placed a very high level of attention on making sure that the patient feels they’re in that type of environment,” he said. “I think this has reduced our HAIs and also increased the quality of our clinical outcomes. It’s a win/win for the patient and facility.”
This isn’t the only honor Princeton Transitional Care has received recently. The facility also was awarded the Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award for its dedication to improving the lives of residents through quality care, given by the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living.