Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Update - March 2019

Minnesota Department of Health

Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Update

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March 2019

Vote Now to Help Choose the Most Impactful Antibiotic Awareness Videos

Help us choose the winning video for the Lights, Camera, Action for Antibiotics Student Video Contest by voting for your favorite video! Participants were asked to produce a video on one of the following topics:

vote now
  1. What is Antibiotic Resistance?
  2. Preventing Infections: One Way to Fight Antibiotic Resistance 
  3. Animals Get Sick, Too: Antibiotic Use in Animals
  4. Protecting Our Environment: Disposal of Antibiotics

View the five finalist videos and to cast your vote: 
Lights, Camera, Action for Antibiotics Video Contest​ 

You are able to vote as many times as you would like! Voting ends March 25, 2019. The top three videos will be recognized for their achievement at a ceremony to be held at the Minnesota Department of Health on April 3 at 6:00 p.m.

Compendium of Health Care Contacts

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) currently has a list of health care contacts known as The Compendium for acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities, hemodialysis centers, and outpatient clinics.

The Compendium is utilized by MDH to:

  1. Send direct and/or targeted alerts or advisory messages in parallel to the Health Alert Network (HAN).
    Please Note: The compendium does not serve as an alternative or replacement for HAN messages.
  2. Send periodic messages related to infectious disease and/or other notifications when the need arises. Examples of past messages sent included content on influenza, High Consequence Infectious Disease (HCID) resources and information on educational opportunities.
  3. Hear from industry partners about their needs and challenges through brief five-minute surveys.

MDH needs your help to expand the Compendium to include EMS. Please sign your service up by clicking on the link below and answering a few questions. It is recommended that each ambulance service provide a few contacts to ensure messages are received.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Compendium

Thank you for taking the time to share your contact information with us so we can be sure to send relevant information when the need arises.

For questions or concerns about the EMS Compendium, please contact or 651-201-5414.

Register Now: 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.

Time: 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. 

Dates/Locations: 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)

Register Now: Infection Preventionist Conference (choose only one event)

Questions: 651-201-5414 or 

2019 Minnesota Antibiotic Stewardship Conference

The 2019 Minnesota Antimicrobial Stewardship Conference on May 13 will focus on patient and provider education. The conference will explore important topics including the social determinants of antibiotic prescribing, evidence-based recommendations and clinical practice guidelines that improve antibiotic utilization and patient outcomes, the role of communication skills to educate and inform patients, and more.

This conference is for health care providers, nurses, infection preventionists, administrators, dentists, pharmacists, public health professionals and others interested in becoming more involved in antibiotic stewardship and matters related to antibiotic resistance.

Registration for the conference is currently full. If you would like to join the waitlist, please send your name, email address, and organization affiliation to You will be contacted if space becomes available.

2019 NHSN Annual Training

The 2019 National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) Annual Training is a one-week event from March 25 - March 29, 2019, featuring presentations on the general changes for 2019 NHSN reporting.

All sessions will be available to view via live web-streaming starting on Monday, March 25, at 7:00 a.m. CDT. The instructions on how to view the webstream and PDFs of the agenda and CE information are posted on the CDC 2019 NHSN Annual Training website. No registration is required for web-streaming.

The training course is intended for infection preventionists and hospital epidemiologists using the Patient Safety Component and Outpatient Procedure Component, as well as staff from Health Innovation and Improvement Networks, Health Departments, and others interested in learning more about NHSN HAI surveillance.

Nursing Home Infection Preventionist Training

Nursing Home Infection Preventionist Training Course

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), just launched a new Nursing Home Infection Preventionist Training course. This specialized nursing home training is designed for individuals responsible for infection prevention and control (IPC) programs in nursing homes and covers:

  • Core activities of effective IPC programs
  • Recommended IPC practices to reduce:
    • Pathogen transmission
    • Healthcare-associated infections
    • Antibiotic resistance

The course introduces and describes how to use IPC program implementation resources including policy and procedure templates, audit tools, and outbreak investigation tools. The release of this training course is designed to help facilities provide staff with the required specialized infection prevention and control training as it relates to the CMS Requirements for Participation for Nursing Homes.

The course contains 23 modules and sub-modules that can be completed in any order and over multiple sessions. Free CME, CNE, or CEUs are available upon completion of the course.

CDC TRAIN: Nursing Home Infection Preventionist Training

CMS National Care Transitions Awareness Day

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is hosting its first annual National Care Transitions Awareness (NCTA) Day on April 16, 2019! The goal is to increase awareness of the importance and value that safe and effective care transitions and care coordination have on the beneficiary and provider communities. Make this a day to raise awareness and promote action. Commit to one or more care transition activities.

Some examples include:

  • Provide an educational webinar highlighting best practices to your organization, community partners, or other stakeholders
  • Do a gap analysis of your current practices and commit to advancing your practices to the next level
  • Provide a refresh on existing practices to your team and employees
  • Reach out to existing community partners to further your partnership and improve care coordination
  • Identify new community partners to expand resource options for patients
  • Engage health IT partners to improve data transfer and communication to improve care transitions
  • Patient engagement activities to improve care transitions

Preventing Legionnaires' Disease Training

Interested in learning more about how to optimize your facility’s Legionella water management program? 

CDC and partners have created a new, free online training including case studies, templates, and other practical resources. Learn more on the PreventLD Training CDC website.

Anesthesiology Study on Hepatitis C

Canadian researchers asked: Can Sharing Medication Vials with Clean Needles and Syringes Lead to Healthcare-associated HCV Outbreaks? Results presented at last fall’s meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists showed that even though providers used sterile needles and syringes, hepatitis C virus (HCV) pre-contamination on the vial diaphragm can be readily transferred into the medication vial.

This reinforces important One & Only Campaign and CDC recommendations about provider hand hygiene, dedicating multi-dose vials to one patient whenever possible, and adequately scrubbing the diaphragm on the medication vial for a proper amount of time before accessing it with a clean needle and clean syringe.

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 Carris Health Care Center and Therapy Suites. We hope the lessons learned will provide you with innovative ideas that are useful to you regarding infection control and antibiotic stewardship. 

Carris Health Care Center and Therapy Suites was nominated for its Infection Control Committee.

The Infection Control Committee implemented interventions including education for emergency department prescribers to minimize antibiotics for asymptomatic bacteriuria, education for clinic prescribers to minimize inappropriate antibiotics, and development of the “Does My Resident Need an Antibiotic” computer program. This original program aids staff in determining if an antibiotic is needed by clicking “yes” or “no” to a series of questions that leads them through Loeb’s Minimum Criteria for Initiation of Antibiotics in Long-Term Care Residents. Carris Health Care Center and Therapy Suites’ current infection rate is 3.3 infections per 1000 resident days, down from last year’s rate of 4.3.

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.