Minnesota Hospital Association


October 09, 2017

MHA Newsline: Oct. 9, 2017

In this issue 

Regions Hospital, Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital earn CHAIN Awards

Regions Hospital in St. Paul and Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital in Minneapolis on Sept. 27 received CHAIN Awards for Excellence, which commend the infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship efforts of health care teams working to build safer health care environments. The awards are presented annually by the Collaborative Healthcare-Associated Infection Network (CHAIN).  

Regions Hospital received the CHAIN Award for its Infection Prevention Isolation Precautions Utilization Improvement Team.  

A goal of infection prevention programs is to interrupt transmission of organisms within health care settings. Regions Hospital had a protocol to initiate contact precautions for patients either colonized or infected with specific pathogens including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). While this approach is generally supported by the CDC and infection prevention organizations, it can also lead to patient stress, decreased medical attention and more adverse events.  

Regions began an initiative to reduce unnecessary use of contact precautions for MRSA in order to improve the patient experience while maintaining a safe patient care environment. Based on a review of existing literature regarding the use of isolation and an examination of approaches to MRSA screening, the hospital determined that its existing policies for isolation and screening were likely too stringent and that it lacked a standard process to routinely review admissions for proactive isolation discontinuation.  

With the support of leaders, front-line colleagues and the hospital’s Patient and Family Council, Regions Hospital discontinued routine patient screening for MRSA in its intensive care units and emphasized horizontal interventions, including bath treatment with chlorhexidine gluconate – a product that kills germs – for all inpatients with central lines and preoperatively for all surgical patients. Similarly, the hospital continues to monitor its robust hand hygiene program, bundled prevention practices and environmental cleaning to ensure high compliance.   

Supported by a daily review of patients with a history of MRSA, Regions refined its utilization of vertical interventions. These include contact precautions for only those patients who met specific risk criteria for MRSA infection as well as targeted MRSA screening for high-risk populations. Together, these interventions resulted in no statistically significant change in infections, indicating that the focus on horizontal measures remained effective with no unintended consequences from practice changes. The hospital also saw a 16 percent decrease in isolation days for patients and a 54 percent decrease in MRSA screenings. 

The efforts of Regions Hospital led to enhanced care delivery, patient safety and patient experiences.  

Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital’s award-winning program was profiled in last week’s edition of Newsline. return to top  

Drug resistant tuberculosis clinical conference call Oct. 16

MHA and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) are partnering to host a clinical conference call on Oct. 16 from 12-1 p.m. on the current state of apparently rising multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) cases particularly striking the elderly Hmong community in Ramsey County.  

On the call, participants will review updates on this evolving situation, identify ways that front-line health care providers can help recognize new cases and control the spread of infection, and discuss other recommended systematic interventions. Following the formal presentation, there will be time for questions and discussion. Questions may be submitted in advance online

To participate, register in advance online and dial in using the information below: 

Phone: 800-791-2345 
Passcode: 11076  

For more detailed treatment guidelines and to learn more about TB, visit the MDH websitereturn to top   

Hospitals recognized for high flu vaccination rates among staff

The Minnesota Department of Health’s (MDH) FluSafe program celebrated its seventh year with 93 percent of participating hospitals and nursing homes receiving a blue, red or white ribbon for their efforts to vaccinate health care workers against flu.   

For the 2016-17 season, 148 facilities participated. Of the 138 facilities that earned ribbons, 66 reached vaccination levels of 90 percent or greater, earning blue ribbons; 41 were in the 80-89 percent range, earning red ribbons; and 31 reached 70-79 percent, earning white ribbons. A list of MHA members earning ribbons can be found on the MHA website.     

Each year, hospitals and nursing homes across the state commit to preventing the spread of flu in their facilities by encouraging vaccination of health care workers. Promoting vaccination of health care staff demonstrates hospitals’ and health systems’ commitment to patient safety. This simple step protects patients as well as employees.   

More information and resources are available on the MDH website. return to top  

MHA encourages comments on health information exchange by Oct. 31

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) on Oct. 2 released draft recommendations and instructions for submitting comments regarding improving health information exchange (HIE) in Minnesota. MHA participated in every phase in the development of this study, which presents one set of recommendations that can be implemented without new legislation and another set that will need legislative action.   

MDH is seeking public comment from hospitals and health systems by Oct. 31 on a range of legislative options, including changes to the Minnesota Health Records Act that would facilitate more robust HIE if enacted.  

MHA, along with a large coalition of other health care stakeholders, has long advocated for aligning Minnesota’s Health Records Act with HIPAA standards that apply in virtually every other state. MHA is pleased that this option is discussed in the study as option 1, alternative A. Although elements of the other options may be helpful, no other option leads to the optimal workflow of HIE.  

MHA will be commenting in favor of this option and strongly encourages MHA members to provide their comments to MDH. With questions, contact Mark Sonneborn, vice president, health information and analytics, MHA, 651-659-1423. return to top   

AHA creates fund for hospital employees in Puerto Rico affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria

The American Hospital Association (AHA) on behalf of the Puerto Rico Hospital Association (PRHA) has established the Care Fund to provide support to hospital employees in Puerto Rico affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. During the storms and in their ongoing aftermath, the women and men of Puerto Rico’s hospitals have been doing what comes most naturally to them – putting patients first – even under very dire circumstances. They have worked tirelessly to care for others, even while their own families were in harm’s way. 

To learn more about this effort and provide a donation, visit the Care Fund websitereturn to top