Hospital Spotlight: Spectrum Health Grand Rapids Focuses on Infection Prevention

Posted on December 07, 2017

Hospital SpotlightInfection Control and Prevention team members from Spectrum Health Grand Rapids, which encompasses Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, and Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital, participated June 17 in the MHA Keystone Center Healthcare-associated Infection (HAI) Regional Learning Session (RLS). 

The event taught MHA Keystone Center member hospitals how to save lives by eliminating HAIs, specifically central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), and Clostridium difficile (C. diff).

Attendees learned best practices and strategies on how to increase patient safety and provider efficiency. Hospital teams also identified HAI risk factors and created action plans that indicated specific goals to improve infection rates within their facility.

The MHA Keystone Center followed up with hospitals 90 days after the event to discuss their progress.

Spectrum Infection Prevention teamSpectrum Health Grand Rapids identified key areas it targeted with specific, actionable goals. Some of the goals and the progress the team has made since the HAI RLS in June include:

  • Antibiotic Stewardship: Spectrum Health Grand Rapids identified the need to support providers in choosing appropriate antibiotics to treat patients and has worked with providers over the past few months to review positive cultures and use the opportunity to educate them on judicial use of antibiotics. It will not only help treat patients with a medication that is specific to their cause of illness, but it will help with C. diff prevention as an unintended consequence of antibiotic administration.
  • Infection Prevention (IP): The Spectrum Health Grand Rapids team has been successful in adding a session on infection control for orientation for new nursing staff. While the IP department presentations were previously included in the orientation, the recent transition to a new vendor provided an opportunity to review the education department’s information, eliminate redundancies, and emphasize priorities to boost infection control processes across the institution, including hands-on practice for isolation garbing.
  • CLABSI: Spectrum Health Grand Rapids staff has done a lot of work to increase compliance with the CLABSI prevention bundle, however, staff members were discouraged by the continued number of CLABSIs, particularly in the oncology population. Staff noticed that many of the CLABSIs on these units were a specific subset — mucosal barrier injuries (MBIs). CLABSIs of this type occur in immunocompromised patients and are not preventable through usual insertion and maintenance practices. Therefore, staff members determined they would need to pursue a different avenue for prevention.

    Initially, department nursing managers created their own posters that indicated how many CLABSIs and what types were identified each month. They eventually started to report the MBI CLABSIs separately on internal hospital dashboards, so staff could focus on prevention of non-MBI CLABSIs — which are preventable infections.
  • CAUTI Prevention: The IP team collaborated with Spectrum Health Medical Directors to develop a one-hour session on HAI prevention, which took place in October at Spectrum Health Butterworth. The session will highlight CAUTI and CLABSI and what providers can do to prevent HAIs. The IP team can ensure a foundational knowledge base for clinicians and stress the importance of HAI prevention efforts to ensure patient safety through a holistic training approach. A hospital-acquired conditions (HAC) bundle will also be implemented, which will give nurses reminders and evidence-based interventions to prevent HACs, including CAUTI and CLABSI.

“The MHA Keystone Center Regional Learning Session was extremely beneficial,” said Jim Codman, BSN, RN, CIC, Infection Control & Prevention, Spectrum Health Grand Rapids. “It allowed us to identify specific goals and focus our efforts.”

This article was featured in the new MHA Keystone Center Newsletter. To subscribe, please contact Ashley Sandborn, MHA Keystone Center communications specialist.


  • Hospital Spotlight: Spectrum Health Grand Rapids Focuses on Infection Prevention

Tags: MHA Keystone Center, Patient Safety and Quality, HAI reduction program

Posted in: Patient Safety & Quality

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