The Team at University of Wisconsin

The Team at University of Wisconsin

Striving for continuous improvement

The Team at University of Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics
Madison, WI

An innovative approach that presented medical residents with a hands-on experience in terms of infection prevention earned a team of Wisconsin professionals the title of “2006 Heroes of Infection Prevention.”

Rita McCormick, RN, CIC, along with members of the infection prevention and control team at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison, WI, set out to increase physician compliance with proven measures to prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), as well as occupational biohazard injuries. McCormick and her team members convinced the hospital’s leadership to allow more time during the orientation for this activity and to rework the program to be more effective.

“Since time is money, we needed to find a way to enhance the orientation process in a cost-effective way,” McCormick said. “Switching from a lecture-oriented structure to a more hands-on exercise proved successful. On top of that, it was popular with the residents.”

As part of the new orientation, residents witnessed demonstrations by experts on a series of infection prevention and control activities. The residents then performed the procedures themselves. The process enabled residents to actively address: proper hand hygiene and surgical hand antisepsis; proper insertion of a central line; correct isolation procedures for specific diseases; and the use of safety devices to prevent needle-stick injuries.

“It turned out that the revamped program allowed us to offer valuable training that the interns did not receive in medical school,” McCormick added.

In addition to McCormick, the multidisciplinary team at UW Hospital included: Chris Crnich, MD; Heidi Hahlen, MSN; Ann White, BSN; John Marx, MPH; Dennis G. Maki, MD; and Jane Banton, BSN.