Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Update - Feb. 2019

Minnesota Department of Health

Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Update

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February 2019

2019 Minnesota Antibiotic Stewardship Conference

Annual Report: HAIs in Acute Care Hospitals

The first annual Healthcare-Associated Infections in Minnesota Acute Care Hospitals: 2017 Annual Report​ summarizes statewide NHSN healthcare-associated infection data reported by Minnesota acute care hospitals participating in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Inpatient Prospective Payment System. This report also summarizes the progress of all Minnesota acute care hospitals towards implementing CDC's antibiotic stewardship Core Elements as reported to NHSN.​

Materials for Cold and Flu Season

During cold and flu season, it can be tempting to prescribe an antibiotic or want an antibiotic; however, it will not help treat symptoms as they are viral infections. Utilize these helpful resources as patients come in to your clinic with viral infections.

If there are other materials that would be helpful in educating patients about proper antibiotic use, please send ideas to ​

Webinar: A Toolbox to Help Hospitals Prepare for HCID

The ongoing outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a reminder that Minnesota health care facilities must be prepared to identify, isolate (for at least 24 hours), and inform others when a person with a High Consequence Infectious Disease (HCID) presents. Delays in this process may result in spread to others in health care facilities and the community. HCID includes EVD, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, and other infections that are easily transmissible, highly fatal, and not preventable through routine vaccines.

The MN Department of Health, the MN Chapter of the Association for Infection Control and Epidemiology, and the Health Care Coalitions of Minnesota have worked collaboratively to develop a toolbox to help frontline facilities prepare for the presentation of a person with a HCID. The Toolbox centers on a HCID screening algorithm along with planning tools, training tools, drills, and a readiness binder. Toolbox components are designed to be integrated into routine training and infection control practices that prevent the spread of HCID as well as more common infectious agents like measles and chickenpox. 

MDH and the MN Hospital Association (MHA) will be hosting a webinar to discuss current threats, review the HCID screening algorithm, and describe components included in the HCID Toolbox for Frontline Health Care Facilities.

REGISTER NOW: A Toolbox to Help Hospitals Prepare for High Consequence Infectious Disease
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. CT

Save the Date: 2019 Regional Laboratory/Infection Preventionist Conference

The Minnesota Department of Health Public Health Laboratory, Infection Control Assessment and Response (ICAR) team, and healthcare-associated infections epidemiologists are planning no-cost, regional conferences. The interactive conferences will focus on intra-facility communication, and will provide a forum to discuss healthcare-associated infections, antibiotic resistance, and laboratory biosafety, including risk assessments.

Intended Audience:
The intended audience is laboratory biosafety officers, infection preventionists (IP), laboratorians, and managers. Please forward to employees you would like to attend.

8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. 

The one-day conference will be offered:

  • Thursday, April 4 – Metro Session #1 (Carpenter’s Union St. Paul)
  • Friday, April 12 – Metro Session #2 (Carpenter’s Union St. Paul)
  • Wednesday, April 17 – Marshall, MN (Avera Hospital)
  • Wednesday, May 1 – Detroit Lakes, MN (Essentia Health)
  • Thursday, May 9 – Rochester, MN (Mayo Clinic, Assisi Heights)
  • Wednesday, May 22 – Alexandria, MN (Alomere Health)
  • Wednesday, May 29 – Duluth, MN (St. Luke’s Hospital)

Registration information and additional details to follow.

651-201-5414 or

Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition Resources

Preventing infections is essential for patient safety. Bloodstream infections are a dangerous complication of dialysis. The Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition has several resources available to help reduce bloodstream infections and promote dialysis patient safety! Check them out:

If you have any questions about ordering or accessing these resources please email  

CDC's AR Solutions Initiative

The Centers for Disease Control is a leader in the fight against antibiotic resistance. Through its Antibiotic Resistance (AR) Solutions Initiative, CDC works with partners to drive the national response to detect, respond, contain, and prevent resistant infections across healthcare settings.

The CDC has released new data in its Antibiotic Resistance Investment Map, showcasing the work being done in fiscal year 2018 to protect people. This work is done in partnership with state and local public health departments, academia, and health care partners. Check out all the activities in Minnesota!

Concerns Raised Over Stem Cell Therapy

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is increasing its oversight and enforcement over stem cell products. In order to support the responsible development of safe and effective products for patients, the FDA issued warnings and sent letters to reiterate compliance requirements to manufacturers and health care providers who may be offering stem cell treatments.

The links below describe some of the bacterial infections that have occurred after the use of umbilical cord blood.

Webinar: Hospitals HAI Peer Learning Network

The HAI Peer Learning Network provides an opportunity for hospitals to engage in topic-specific peer learning focused on implementing best practices and strategies to reduce HAIs. The next webinar will feature a presentation from Lisa Lande, Instructional Design Specialist, and Rebecca Faller, Health Education Specialist, Mayo Clinic Health System on their work to standardize and enhance infection prevention education at orientation and annual staff training.

REGISTER NOW: HAI Peer Learning Network - March 2019
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
1:00 - 2:00 p.m. CT

For more information or to join the learning network, contact the MN Hospital Association (MHA) at 651-603-3529.

CHAIN Award for Excellence

The Minnesota Collaborative Healthcare-Associated Infection Network (CHAIN) Award for Excellence commends the infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship efforts of health care teams working to build safer health care environments. The awards are presented annually by CHAIN. We had many great initiatives submitted, and this month we are featuring Avera Marshall. We hope the lessons learned will provide you with innovative ideas that are useful to you regarding patient safety and quality of care. 

Avera Marshall was nominated for its Reduction of Surgical Site Infections (SSI) Team. 

A tiered team of infection prevention and surgery leadership researched best practices on how to decrease SSI rates. Using tools from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA), the group focused on reducing operating room traffic and controlling the temperature in the OR. After implementing the process changes, Avera Marshall conducted audits that showed 15 or fewer ins and outs of the OR suite, meeting or exceeding their goal. Avera Marshall implemented a new policy requiring temperatures to be maintained at 68 degrees with any change approved by anesthesia. Preoperative patient warming was adjusted, so every general anesthesia or neuraxial block patient received warming for 30 minutes before surgery with warming maintained throughout the procedure. Patient outcomes were reviewed with success and minimal variability.​

What is CHAIN?

The Collaborative Healthcare-Associated Infections Network (CHAIN) represents a partnership formed in 2011 between the Minnesota Chapter of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC-Minnesota), the Minnesota Department of Health, the Minnesota Hospital Association, and Stratis Health. In early 2017, CHAIN expanded membership to include organizations representing providers across care settings.

CHAIN coordinates across the continuum of health care delivery, and supports patients, individuals, and their families to prevent harm from infections acquired in the process of care and combat antibiotic resistance.