Heroes of Infection Prevention 2008
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Innovative approaches led to dramatic reductions in infection rates
Linda Kircher, RN, MPA, CIC & Bruce Short, MD, FACP
Overland Park Regional Medical Center
Two Kansas healthcare professionals, Linda Kircher, RN, MPA, CIC, and Bruce Short, MD, FACP, whose 2006 efforts dramatically reduced multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO) rates by implementing what was termed “Standard Patient Precautions Program.”
This program was instrumental in stimulating the development and adoption of the “ABCs of MRSA Prevention,” by all 94 Hospital Corporation of America-owned (HCA) healthcare facilities. The “ABCs” program includes active surveillance, contact precautions, improvement of hand hygiene compliance, revised surgical infection prevention standards, patient education surrounding MDROs and continuing education for physicians and all clinical staff.
“Everyone was waiting for legislators to tell them what to do,” said Short. He wrote a proposal to HCA, urging the organization to consider the Overland Park Regional Medical Center’s project, which was ultimately accepted and expanded by HCA to include what the corporation now calls “executive ownership.” He added, “HCA made it more official; they made it a quality overall program.
Their efforts generated impressive reductions in HCA hospitals’ infection rates.