Winning trust to control infection
Beverly Vickery, RN, CIC
Noland Health Services
Beverly Vickery is passionate about helping people across disciplines understand the importance of infection prevention and control. Her efforts to collaborate with coworkers and patients’ families have resulted in significant infection rate reductions in her health system, including a 70 percent decrease in catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI).
Over the past eight years as the director of infection control and prevention at Noland Health Services, Vickery has worked diligently to gain the trust and confidence of coworkers. Part of her job entails traveling to each of the six Noland hospitals a few times a month, providing data and guidance to staff and administration.
Early in the role, she enlisted the help of APIC colleagues employed at the hospitals to arrange meetings with the right people from environmental services, housekeeping, and other groups. “The key is to help make others as passionate about this as you are, so they’ll build infection prevention practices into their days,” she says.
Vickery also focused on coalition-building with patients’ families. She established Family Infection Control Contracts, which identifies a lead family member on admission who is responsible for encouraging other family members to comply with infection prevention protocols.
Leveraging these relationships, Vickery and her team have successfully combated CAUTI— with the engagement of professionals across the patient care team, they replaced bed basins with basin-less baths to reduce infection rates by 70 percent. Her efforts have also resulted in an 82 percent reduction in ventilator-associated pneumonia and a 41 percent reduction in central line-associated bloodstream infection.
Vickery advises infection prevention professionals to understand the science behind a recommendation before trying to engage colleagues. “Get your facts before you start and don’t back down. Show them the evidence.”