Shannon Davila

Engaging audiences to institute improvements

Shannon Davila, RN, MSN, CIC, CPHQ
Clinical Content Development Lead
Health Research and Educational Trust of the American Hospital Association

Shannon Davila’s ability to motivate and engage people in the hospital environment has enabled her to positively impact infection rates across an entire state.

As the New Jersey Hospital Association’s (NJHA) clinical quality improvement manager, Davila provided support to New Jersey hospitals on national and statewide quality improvement initiatives. This role required both finely tuned epidemiological and interpersonal skills. “You have to stay current on the literature so that people trust you as a resource,” Davila said. “But you also have to be a good listener. It’s critical to understand the barriers people face in implementing specific practices.”

During her four years with the NJHA, Davila helped state hospitals integrate initiatives such as On the CUSP and Team STEPPS. As part of the On the CUSP: STOP CAUTI initiative, Davila led New Jersey hospitals in the adoption of national standards to reduce catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) and provided guidance to clinicians in improving appropriate catheter use and insertion techniques. New Jersey logged an impressive 31 percent reduction in CAUTI rates.

Davila also helped lead a statewide charge to improve early identification of sepsis and initiation of sepsis treatment interventions in both the acute care and post-acute care settings. Among other results, New Jersey achieved a 47 percent increase in the three-hour sepsis treatment bundle.

Davila csites relationship-building with end users as one of the keys to her success in generating change among a broad audience. “Be reflective of your approach,” she said. “Particularly with people who are not in infection prevention roles, you have to be open and flexible. And interact with the frontline staff—it gives you a critical, broad perspective.”

Now a clinical content development lead at the Health Research and Educational Trust of the American Hospital Association, Davila is engaging individuals nationwide to improve infection prevention practices.