May 9, 2016

Patient Safety in Practice

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hospital assessment and patient safety

Reducing SSIs Through Meaningful Dialog

If you’re like us, you come across a lot of information relating to infection prevention. There are facts like;

Five out of every 100 patients admitted to a hospital will acquire an infection during their stay, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).¹ Surgical site infections (SSIs) are the most common form and account for 30 percent of healthcare acquired infections (HAIs) and the cost of an SSI, according to JAMA, ranges from $18,902 to $22,667.² Yes, a lot of people study it, report on it and write scholarly journal articles. While we share the same concerns, we prefer to take action and the 3M Healthcare Safety in Practice Program is a good place to start.

Through our Third-party Clinical Audit program for perioperative and sterile processing departments, we have been partnering with hospitals and health systems to help them reduce or eliminate the incidence of SSIs. We work together with healthcare compliance program leadership to achieve impressive results that leave a given unit with an “always ready” capability to respond to any inquiry, be it a healthcare committee, governance or reporting/review agency. We help you accomplish this using a member from our team of licensed and highly experienced RNs. Why do we bother? Because our mission at 3M Infection Prevention includes just that, preventing infection, and we believe that educating and sharing technical expertise is an even more powerful defense against SSIs.

We take time to get to know you and your process, with all its nuances, staff and unique characteristics. Our staff of RNs, some of whom have over 30 years’ experience in the OR and Level One Trauma care centers, take on the role of the learner and observe how your process works. We talk about your healthcare compliance concerns and in what areas you are seeing a spike in SSIs. Then we discuss your thoughts as to where you feel we can help. As you might expect coming from 3M, we went ahead and developed a comprehensive and logical analytical model. It’s not a healthcare audit, inspection or evaluation. It’s an informed observation from the ground up based on nine key areas. Our proprietary analytical process is based on the latest practice guidelines from professional organizations such as AAMI, AORN, and the CDC. So with a fresh pair of eyes, real-world experience and our proprietary analytical methods, we work with you to attain an “always ready” capability to respond to any infection prevention department’s inquiry, committee, governance or reporting/review agency

We observe your staff in action, on a peer-to-peer level. In the process, some surprising things happen. The staff comes to appreciate their leadership for the focus received and direct role they play in improving patient care. And, hospitals often learn how they can save considerable costs.

As you might understand, we are bound by confidentiality regarding those hospitals that we serve, but the results are too exciting not to share. Click on these links to access case studies from actual healthcare clients.

Solving a Mysterious Rise in Surgical Site Infections: A 3M Safety in Practice Third-Party Assessment Customer Experience

Continuous OR practice improvement at North Shore-LIJ Health System

After we complete our findings, we engage in conversation with you and corroborate our observations with your concerns. Most often we find that teams and facilities often have slowly drifted away from best practices or that certain mandates are issued that may save materials cost but increase the risk of SSIs. We formulate and recommend solutions for those and any other issues that need correction. Infection prevention takes many forms that don’t always arrive through the loading dock, sometimes it walks in through the main entrance, shakes your hand and says, “I’m here to help.” Our Third-party Clinical Audit for perioperative and sterile processing departments is a win-win program for everyone, especially for each patient who recovers from surgery with no complications.


2. Eyal Zimlichman, MD, MSc; Daniel Henderson, MD, MPH; et al. “Health CareAssociated Infections: A Meta-analysis of Costs and Financial Impact on the US Health Care System.” JAMA. 2013

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