Brian Koll

Making Infection Prevention Everyone’s Business

Brian Koll

Brian Koll, MD, FACP
Beth Israel Medical Center
New York, NY

“Infection prevention and control is everyone’s responsibility” is not only a statement Brian Koll, M.D., FACP, believes in, it is one he practices ardently. Koll, a 10-year APIC member, is chief of Infection Control at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City and a 2010 APIC Hero. He has been an innovator in the effort to eliminate healthcare-associated infections of all types, not only within the medical center, but throughout New York State.

In 2008, Koll helped develop the Infection Prevention Coaches Program in conjunction with 1199 SEIU/United Healthcare Workers East and the Greater New York Hospital Association. Over the course of several training sessions, he trains nurses, PCAs, transporters and other staff in the principles of infection prevention, teaching strategies to use with staff that will improve compliance with hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment, and adherence to isolation precautions.

“We all believe infection control is everyone’s responsibility,” said Koll, “and we needed a way to instill that to all healthcare workers in the hospital.”

The (then) two day program (now one day) consists of a mixture of didactics and participation from those that attend the program. Group exercises consist of putting that knowledge to use.

“As an example, we ask participants how they would deal with a physician who did not wash his/her hands, or how they would work with housekeepers, transporters, etc.,” said Koll. “More than 1,000 people have gone through this New York City metropolitan area program, after which they go back to their hospitals and train others, so you could say that thus far more than 5,000 healthcare workers have gone through it.”

His implementation of bundled practices at Beth Israel has resulted in immediate and sustained reductions in ventilator-associated pneumonia and central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), as well as reductions in C. difficile and MRSA infection rates.

In addition to the 2010 Heroes Award, Dr. Koll received the APIC Infection Control Champion Award for 2008, given to him by APIC Greater New York Chapter 13. He is also the recipient of two Pinnacle Awards for Quality and Patient Safety, presented to him by The Healthcare Association of New York State; one in 2007 for reduction in CLABSI and one in 2008 when for his leadership in achieving “a sustained reduction in hospital-acquired MRSA and prevention of MRSA transmission using MRSA ABC bundle.”