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Easily Engage Leadership to Create Accountability and Decrease Hospital-Acquired Infections

Jackson Health System has gained control of a nearly two-decade-long endemic of Acinetobacter baumannii (A. baumannii) by incorporating weekly leadership update emails into its bundled interventions.

Jackson decreased the number of patients infected with A. baumannii, one of the most resistant bacteria-causing hospital-acquired infections, by incorporating the following information into weekly emails sent by the medical director of infection control to hospital leaders:

  • descriptions (including graphics) and interpreted findings of the preceding week’s interventions
  • descriptions and discussion of environmental findings
  • results of environmental cultures
  • action plans for treating infected patients

Jackson also added several additional interventions to those already in place (weekly surveillance, cultures, increased environmental disinfection, contact isolation, and patient cohorting) across the hospital. The new interventions include the following:

  • observation and testing of respiratory secretions from intubated and tracheostomized patients
  • hand hygiene initiatives
  • observation of common objects used by multiple patients on a daily basis, such as blood pressure cuffs, hemodialysis machines, and scissors
  • multidisciplinary task force meetings
  • statistical analysis of new cases of A. baumannii

Plus, hospital units with the highest number of new A. baumannii patients receive daily emails tracking new and existing infected patients and their locations.

According to the findings of a recent study by Jackson Health staff, the combination of education, communication, feedback, and peer pressure helped create a sense of accountability and unify hospital leadership and providers around decreasing the number of new cases of the infection. As a result, the number of infected patients dropped from 198 during the baseline period to 72.

For more information about Jackson Health System’s successful reduction of A. baumannii, read the study in the American Journal of Infection Control.



About the Author

Laycox is a former senior writer/editor for America's Essential Hospitals.

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