In Focus, In the News: July 11, 2011

July 11, 2011

A daily synopsis of healthcare-associated infection (HAI) news: current research, news articles, commentaries, and press releases.  In Focus, In the News is published Monday – Thursday on the HAI Focus blog.

Current News About Healthcare Associated Infections


Acinetobacter Infections

Factors in Acinetobacter Infection Transmission.  DoctorsLounge, July 8, 2011.  About a review published in the July issue of the AORN Journal relating to multi-drug resistant Acinetobacter infections in war injuries.

Awards, for Hospitals or other Healthcare Facilities

(Pennsylvania). Jo Ciavaglia.  Grand View receives recognition for surgical care improvement., July 10, 2011.  “Grand View Hospital received a Surgical Care Improvement Award of Excellence for implementing best practices to improve patient safety.”

Bloodstream Infections

Julie M. McKinnon.  Hospitals cutting infections, Issues from central-line catheters have droppedToledo Blade, July 8, 2011.  “Community Hospitals is among about 1,100 hospitals nationwide that have joined an effort to lower central line-associated bloodstream infections.”

Clostridium difficile (C. diff) Infections

(California).  Potentially Fatal Bacterial Outbreak at San Francisco Hospital.  CBS San Francisco, July 7, 2011.  About Clostridium difficile infections at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.  “As many as ten patients became violently ill with diarrhea on the hospital’s East Campus. The affected floors had to be evacuated and sterilized to prevent the highly contagious, and potentially deadly, bacterial infection from spreading.”

(Canada).  Opportunistic superbug present in most hospitalsCBC News, July 7, 2011.  About the C. diffoutbreak in Ontario.

“It’s not going to start in one hospital and spread like wildfire across the province. On the other hand, so far this year across the province the numbers of C. difficile are up.” – Dr. Allison McGeer, director of infection control at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital.

(Canada).  C. diff outbreak at Hotel Dieu., July 7, 2011.  Reports six patients are infected with C. diff at the Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre.

(Canada).  Deadly hospital superbug outbreak linked to $13bn US Contractor.  CNW, July 6, 2011.  About the C. diff outbreak at Niagara-area hospitals and outsourcing to private contractors.

The outbreak of a deadly superbug at Niagara-area hospitals where dozens have died underlines the risk of outsourcing infection control to private US contractors, according to staff at the hospitals.

Frontline staff repeatedly warned executives at the Niagara Health System they were putting patient safety at risk by outsourcing responsibility for infection control to Aramark, a $13-billion American corporation which has a multi-million dollar cleaning contract with the hospitals.

(Canada) Jerome Lessard.  QHC hospitals staving off C. difficile.  The Intelligencer, July 9, 2011.  Quinte Health Care’s (QHC) hospitals have not been hit by C. difficile outbreak, yet they are taking precautions.

(C. Diff Diagnostic Testing).  Aimee Keenan-Green.  Fighting hospital acquired infections with better, July 6, 2011.  About study published in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics showing “molecular method detects up to 54 percent more cases of C. diff than other non-molecular methods.”

Hand Hygiene

(Ireland).  Kitty Holland.  Hospital doctors not washing their hands., July 8, 2011.  “UP TO half of all hospital doctors do not wash their hands properly and are putting patient safety at risk, according to the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland.”


(Quality of Care for Nursing Facility Residents).  Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.  Fact Sheet. Demonstration to Improve Care Quality for Nursing Facility Residents.  Initiative to Reduce Preventable HospitalizationsCMS Office of Public Affairs, No. 202-690-6145.  July 8, 2011.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a new initiative aimed at helping states improve the quality of care for residents in nursing homes by providing needed treatment without the need to unnecessarily go to the hospital.  (Partnership for Patients).

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.  Press Release, Partnership for Patents Meets Goal of Over 2,000 Hospitals ParticipatingCMS Office of Public Affairs, No. 202-690-6145.  July 8, 2011.  Announcement that approximately 4,500 organizations, including over 2,000 hospitals, have pledged their support for the Partnership for Patients patient safety initiative.

Length of Stay

Barbaro, S, De Rosa FG, Charrier L, Silvestre C, Lovato, E, Gianino MM.  Three methods for estimating days of hospitalization because of hospital-acquired infection: a comparisonJournal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 2011 Jul 1. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2753.2011.01675.x. Published online ahead of print.  “The objective of this study is to compare the three methods internationally used for estimating days of hospitalization attributable to hospital infections by applying them to the same population. The methods are: (1) unmatched comparison group; (2) matched control method-based; and (3) Appropriateness Evaluation Protocol method.”

Long-Term Care

(Arizona).  Diane Saunders.  Deficiencies corrected at local long-term care home.  Eastern Arizona Courier, July 6, 2011.  About the Sunset Hills long-term care facility in Safford, Arizona and federal deficiencies in patient care and infection control.

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)

Deborah Sterescu.  Inovio expands DNA vaccine technology license with U PennProactive Investors, July 7, 2011.  Vaccine developer expands license agreement with the University of Pennsylvania to develop DNA vaccines, including a vaccine against MRSA.

People Making News in the Healthcare-Associated Infections Field

"Kathleen Reilly, Director of Quality and Performance Improvement for Finger Lakes Health in New York"

Kathleen Reilly, Director of Quality and Performance Improvement for Finger Lakes Health in New York. Photo credit:

(New York).  Kathleen Reilly in charge of hospital’s quality, performance., July 8, 2011.  “Kathleen Reilly was recently named director of Quality and Performance Improvement for Finger Lakes Health” in New York.

Press Release, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Wall Street Journal, PBS Among 2011 National Press Club Award WinnersPR Newswire, July 8, 2011.  Gary Evans wins 1st place Newsletter Journalism Award with “Hospital Infection Control and Prevention,” published by AHC Media in Atlanta.


Maeda JL, Parlato J, Levit K, Andrews RM, and Jiang, J.  Hospital-Acquired Conditions in Selected Community Hospitals from 15 States, 2008.  Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Statistical Brief no. 118.  June 2011.

As part of the national agenda to improve health care quality and reduce costs, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) no longer allow Medicare reimbursement to hospitals for the additional cost of most cases with targeted conditions acquired during hospitalization.1 This payment policy will also be implemented in the Medicaid program.2 Financial incentives to reduce HACs have been proposed as an opportunity to improve the quality and safety of patient care while reducing costs. CMS-defined HACs include 10 categories of high volume or cost conditions acquired during the inpatient hospital stay that could have been reasonably prevented.3,4

The purpose of this Statistical Brief is to examine the extent of HACs among hospitalized adults 18 years or older using all-payer data. In addition, it compares Medicare and non-Medicare hospitalizations involving HACs. HACs were identified using the CMS definition.

Surgical Site Infections

Obesity May Increase Risk of Surgical Complications.  US News & World Report, Health, July 8, 2011.  “Obese people who have elective surgery are nearly 12 times more likely to suffer from complications than those of normal weight, new research indicates.”


Employment Positions in Infection Control


Clinical Nurse Trainer.  Nebraska State Government, Department of Health & Human Services.  Lincoln, NE.  Closing date July 13, 2011.  The Lincoln Regional Center, a Joint Commission accredited state psychiatric hospital, is accepting applications for the full-time, permanent position of Clinical Nurse Trainer. Under general direction of the Director of Nursing, the Clinical Nurse Trainer will be responsible to provide education on policy and procedure, present in-service on clinical procedures and give educational presentations. Incumbent will assist with the hospital’s infection control program and will collect data and educate and inform staff on infection control practices.

Infection Control Coordinator.  Dayton, Ohio.  Posted July 7, 2011.  “Coordinates and implements a comprehensive, system-wide infection control program to identify and prevent or reduce causes and/or sources of infection.   Acts as a consultant for infection control practices for all Health Partners facilities including physician offices.”

Infection Control Practitioner.  Runnymede Healthcare Centre, Etobicoke, ON, Canada.  Posted on July 5, 2011.  The Infection Control Practitioner will be responsible for implementing effective infection prevention and control activities throughout the organization in accordance with the required provincial and national guidelines while adhering to Infection Control Practice Standards.

Physician Epidemiologist.  BC Centre for Disease Control.  Vancouver, BC.  As a Physician Epidemiologist within the Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Services, you will assist the Director in conducting provincial surveillance, outbreak investigation and management, program and policy analysis and making informed recommendations around communicable disease control activities. You are also responsible for providing consultation and epidemiologic expertise and undertaking relevant research activities to address gaps in knowledge related to communicable diseases. By calling upon your extensive experience and communicable disease knowledge, you will review current surveillance methods to make recommendations for improvements to prevent and control communicable diseases.  This position will have special emphasis on foodborne and waterborne diseases and zoonoses, but assignment will be flexible.

Infection Control Practitioner.  Eagle Ridge Hospital.  Port Moody, BC.  We currently have an opportunity for an Infection Control Practitioner to work in our Eagle Ridge Hospital located in Port Moody, British Columbia.

Infection Control Nurse.  San Joaquin Community Hospital.  Bakersfield, California.  Posted July 5, 2011.  Expanding hospital in Bakersfield, CA continues to grow and is doing so well more positions are needed. San Joaquin Community Hospital– Consumer Choice’s Most Preferred Hospital, is an acute care hospital. Bakersfield is located in the central valley of California; within two hours from the beach, Hollywood, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Disneyland, mountains, Sequoia National Park, and much more!

Infection Prevention Officer.  St. John’s Regional Medical Center.  Oxnard, California.  In keeping with the CHW St. John’s Hospitals Mission, Vision, and Values, the Infection Prevention Officer has oversight and responsibility for St. John’s Hospitals Infection Prevention Program.

System Director of Infection Prevention.  Franklin Paterson Company.  Madison, Wisconsin. Responsible for coaching leading and mentoring the infection control practitioners at all facilities. Lead Infection Prevention responsibilities as this health system builds a new state of the art hospital which is expected to be a model in healthcare innovation and patient care.

Infection Control Practitioner. Eagle Ridge Hospital.  Port Moody, British Columbia.  We currently have an opportunity for an Infection Control Practitioner to work in our Eagle Ridge Hospital located in Port Moody, British Columbia.

Nurse IV Infection Control Officer.  Department of Aging & Disability Services.  Richmond, Texas.  Performs advanced professional nursing work independently within the scope of practice attributed to the skills of a registered nurse. Works under limited supervision, with considerable latitude for the use of initiative and independent judgment. The Infection Control Nurse works under the supervision of the Chief Nurse Executive and serves as the Infection Control Officer for the entire facility.

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