Navigation Links
Leading Healthcare System Decreases MRSA Infection Rate by 53 Percent - Offers Protocol & Educational Materials Free of Charge to Other Organizations

Infant Deaths Spur Hard-Hitting, System-Wide Hand Washing Campaign That

Drives Culture Change, Saves Lives

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Novant Health, one of the top 10 integrated health systems in the country, dramatically increased hand-washing compliance from 49 to 99 percent and decreased MRSA infection rates by 53 percent from 2005 to mid-year 2008 by implementing a hard-hitting, system-wide campaign that changed the health system's culture and spared an estimated 249 patients from the medical complications of MRSA.

Executives at Novant Health feel so strongly about hand hygiene and improving the quality and safety of patient care, they are making the health system's educational materials and details of their preventive program available and downloadable free of charge at

"Any health system can accomplish what we did," said Paul Wiles, Novant Health CEO, whose team embarked on the no-holds-barred, zero-tolerance campaign after Wiles was devastated by the death of a premature infant from MRSA and a MRSA outbreak in a Novant hospital neonatal unit.

Wiles learned the spread of MRSA to 18 premature infants was a direct result of hospital staff and physicians not properly washing their hands before, in-between or after caring for these infants. Two infants died from complications related to being born prematurely and to MRSA.

"What an enormous cost to pay for neglecting the very simplest of precautionary measures of infection control," said Wiles. "The true cost had been in human life, but there also was the significant loss of honor and pride among clinical staff who personally accepted their failure amid careers they devoted to saving lives instead of taking them. After reading a report about this case, I realized my role as CEO must be creating a culture of hand hygiene and infection control because nobody else but me could make that happen."

"You Could Kill Him With Your Bare Hands"

The campaign -- which includes hiring hand hygiene monitors to roam hospital halls and educate doctors and nurses who don't properly wash their hands, and billboards, screensavers and tough posters such as one that shows a child in a hospital bed and warns, "You Could Kill Him With Your Bare Hands"

-- is in its third year, despite early discomfort by some hospital staff and the risks involved in such directness.

Novant had always used the traditional resources for hand hygiene education that many hospitals in America use today, but it was obviously not enough because it never changed behavior, according to Jim Tobalski, senior vice president of marketing and communications at Novant Health. Tobalski was charged with spearheading the employee educational campaign and helping the clinical team improve hand hygiene compliance. He admits that he initially had no idea how to accomplish the goal.

"The project was huge, but I knew to be successful, we had to scrap what I refer to as the traditional 'Mr. Scrubby Bubbles' approach and do something totally different," said Tobalski, a Seinfeld TV show fan whose ultimate decision to follow Seinfeld character George Costanza's example and "do the opposite" paid off.

Novant's two-year results come at a time when a new survey by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology shows most infection-prevention professionals don't believe hospitals are doing enough to ensure proper hand hygiene. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control recently updated estimates of healthcare-associated infections to 1.7 million infections and 99,000 associated deaths in U.S. hospitals each year.

Estimated 40 - 50 Percent of Hospital Workers Wash Hands Properly

"When we began our campaign, it was estimated that only 40 - 50 percent of hospital workers nationwide washed their hands properly," said Wiles. "That's unacceptable. We must all create a culture that prioritizes proper hand hygiene and infection control, makes people accountable and accepts nothing less."

About Novant Health

Novant Health is a not-for-profit integrated healthcare system that includes nine hospitals, a 1015-physician medical group, two nursing homes and 130 outpatient facilities, including diagnostic centers, rehabilitation programs, surgery centers and community health outreach programs. Novant's mission is to improve the health of communities, one person at a time.

For more information on Novant Health's hand hygiene campaign go to .

SOURCE Novant Health
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Biosensors DES Demonstrates Equivalent Safety and Efficacy to Industry Leading DES in First Real World, All Comers Clinical Study
2. FDA Lifts Clinical Hold on Gentas Tesetaxel, a Leading Oral Taxane
3. Leading Academic Institutions Collaborate on 800-Patient Study of Effectiveness of Cryoablation for Men With Recurrent Prostate Cancer
4. Leading Immunologists Convene in Boston
5. XIENCE(TM) V Drug Eluting Stent from Abbott Outperforms Market-Leading Stent in Reducing Major Adverse Cardiac Events at Two Years
6. Study in JAMA Shows Patients Treated With Abbotts XIENCE(TM) V Drug Eluting Stent Experience Better Outcomes Than Patients Treated With Market-Leading Drug Eluting Stent
7. Most Back Pain Could Be Cured Without Surgery or Drugs if Doctors Treated Muscles - Not the Spine - Says Leading Pain Specialist
8. Clinical Experience With Peregrines Anti-Cancer Agent Bavituximab Presented at Leading Symposium on Anti-Angiogenic Agents
9. Leading AIDS Groups Turn Up The Heat on 08 Presidential Candidates
10. Cleveland Clinic Leading Clinical Program to Improve Early-Stage Lung Cancer Detection
11. PAREXEL Expands Late Phase Clinical Research Services and Appoints Leading Pharmacoepidemiology Expert Victor Kiri
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015  Ascendant Solutions, Inc. (Pink Sheets: ... Board of Directors has declared a special 1 percent stock ... is payable December 14, 2015, to shareholders of record December ... of additional shares of common stock. ... is a strong endorsement of our confidence in Ascendant,s growth ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... st  Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of ... taking place in Chicago on Nov-29 th ... --> st  Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological ... in Chicago on Nov-29 th through ... Molecular Dynamics will present its revolutionary whole body CZT digital SPECT/CT ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... November 24, 2015 --> ... Inhibitors, MTTP Inhibitors, ApoB Inhibitors and PPAR Agonists ... to grow at the fastest rates? This visiongain ... data, trends, opportunities and prospects there. ,  ,Our 199-page ... most lucrative areas in the industry and the future ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... All her life, Don Peck’s mother wondered if she was ... she might have been. After a 25-year search for information, Don and his aunt ... shared a last name. Turns out, it was Don’s father who was descended from ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Pass, OR (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... Lose too much body water to perspiration in the hot sun, and heat stroke ... to Fresh water advocate and radio host Sharon Kleyne. Every cell, system and structure ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The OSHA Training Center at Chabot-Las ... in Northern California, is calling on retail employers to implement safety measures to ... volume of sales and shoppers rapidly expands, retailers are strongly encouraged to develop ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Miami, Fl (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... Farms. Adding houseplants is an easy and affordable way to bring long-lasting style and ... “green heroes” also provide oxygen, clean the air and keep on giving all year ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Take the audience on a journey with ... 3D camera path through a cloud of images without ever setting a single keyframe in ... the Inspector Window. Then use the controls to change the angle and depth of field ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):