Eagle-eyed hospital worker pushes doctors to outwit infections
December 17, 2010
BALTIMORE — Last month an Infection Control Today survey revealed that just one-third of health care workers adhere to recommended guidelines for patient skin antisepsis, according to Fierce Healthcare.
While that may be the norm, health care workers at some hospitals do far better when it comes to infection prevention and control, the article noted.
Case in point: A surgical intensive care unit (SICU) at the University of Maryland Medical Center went 24 weeks without a single central-line associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI), the article stated.
According to the article, it helped that the hospital had a team of infection specialists who checked the teaching hospital for compliance with infection control best practices.
Among them, Michael Anne Preas, one of perhaps 10,000 infection preventionists (IP) in the U.S., made the rounds, on the lookout for areas where infection control and prevention practices needed work, the article added.
Infection preventionists like Preas used to be "prophets in the wilderness," said Dr. Jonathan Gottlieb, the hospital''s chief medical officer.
With the growing recognition that IPs can help save patients and cut hospital costs by reducing hospital-acquired infections, she is not alone in her drive to keep infection from spreading by changing health care worker behavior, the article concluded.
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