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APIC Announces Winner of First Healthcare Administrator Award
Date:10/16/2009

o to a staff of seven and has become much more visible within the organization. Despite challenging economic times, Friberg recently approved the purchase of an electronic infection surveillance system to improve data collection and reduce staff time spent on surveillance and clerical tasks. Automated surveillance offers a more efficient and accurate means of obtaining healthcare-associated infection data and allows infection preventionists to improve prevention practices.

Recognizing that Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are a major threat to their patients, Friberg has committed her time as the executive sponsor for MRSA reduction and leads the organization's participation in a three-year collaborative with 41 other hospitals. As a result, the system's MRSA rates have decreased by 54 percent since the project began in 2006. She also approved requests to begin active surveillance culturing to obtain quicker MRSA test results. Within two months of active surveillance screening and interventions that included strict hand hygiene and enhanced environmental cleaning, the facility eliminated MRSA transmission in their neonatal unit. The program was expanded to the adult trauma unit which has had no MRSA infections for more than a year.

When WakeMed infection preventionists wanted to study chlorhexidine bathing for surgical intensive care unit patients, Friberg approved the funding. Within three months, these measures reduced catheter-related blood stream infections by 74 percent. She also supported a project to place personal protective equipment at the point-of-use for healthcare workers along with significant funding to purchase rolling cabinets to house the equipment.

Hand hygiene compliance is another priority for Friberg. Under her leadership, hand hygiene has been added as a component of every employee's performance evaluation in addition to being named the organization's number one patient s
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SOURCE Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC)
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