Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Update - April 2019

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Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Update

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April 2019

Students Celebrated at Antibiotic Video Contest Award Ceremony

On Wednesday, April 3, students who produced a 30-second video for the Lights, Camera, Action for Antibiotics Video Contest were recognized at an award ceremony.

This year, we had more than 40 students submit a video and help spread the word about antibiotic resistance and good antibiotic use. Congratulations to all our finalists and winners!

Consider using the videos in social media, in waiting or exam rooms, or in patient portals. View the finalists and winning videos at Lights, Camera, Action for Antibiotics Video Contest.​

Lights, Camera, Action for Antibiotics Video Contest Award Ceremony

April 27 is Prescription Drug Take Back Day

DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Do you have leftover antibiotics or medications in your cabinet? Do not throw them in the trash or flush them down the toilet or drain, because they can end up in our natural waterways.

On Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., bring leftover medications to a participating law enforcement agency, pharmacy, or clinic near you. The Drug Enforcement Agency's (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day provides an opportunity to safely dispose of unwanted, unneeded, and expired prescription drugs, like antibiotics and opioids. Physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, veterinarians, aides, and all health care workers should encourage patients, residents, and clients to dispose of all leftover medications appropriately.

Do your part to prevent substance misuse and keep it out of our lakes and rivers!

Find a collection site for April 27 on the DEA Take Back Day website.

​You can also properly dispose of medications year-round by finding a take back location at Minnesota Pollution Control Agency: Dispose of Unwanted Medications.

Watch these short video clips to learn more about safe medication disposal:

2019 Minnesota Antibiotic Stewardship Conference

The 2019 Minnesota Antibiotic Stewardship Conference on Monday, May 13, 2019, is a free one-day event focused 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. Join us for this exciting event to collaborate and address the pressing public health need for increased Antibiotic Stewardship in the state of Minnesota.

Registration for the in-person conference is full. You can sign up for the 2019 Minnesota Antibiotic Stewardship Conference Online Livestream until Friday, May 3.

You will receive email correspondence with the participatory web links as the conference gets closer. Please do not register for the livestream if you are already registered to attend the in-person conference.

Note: Continuing education credit is not guaranteed for the livestream conference. Attendees who join all livestream sessions may receive a certificate of attendance after completing a short evaluation, which may be used to seek CEUs.

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 hosting 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:

  • 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

The ABCs of an Antibiotic Stewardship Policy in Long-term Care

Have you struggled to write an antibiotic stewardship policy for your nursing home? Are you not quite sure how to write a policy that reflects CDC's Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship for Nursing Homes and promotes the appropriate use of antibiotics to treat infections and reduce possible adverse events?

SAVE THE DATE for one of the 2019 Antibiotic Stewardship Policy Writing Workshops for long-term care facilities:

  • Southwest Minnesota: June 27, 2019
    Lyon County Government Center; The Commissioner's Room
    607 West Main Street, Marshall, MN
  • Northeast Minnesota: July 11, 2019
    MDH Duluth District Office; Duluth Technology Village
    11 East Superior Street, Suite 290, Duluth, MN
  • Metro/Twin Cities: July 18, 2019
    Carpenters Union Complex
    710 Olive Street, Saint Paul, MN

The six-hour workshop will provide assistance with writing an effective antibiotic stewardship policy in plain language. This is a unique, hands-on opportunity that will result in a finished or near final product. The Minnesota Sample Antibiotic Stewardship Policy for Long-term Care Facilities (PDF) is a great tool to get started.

Registration information will be announced soon.

Celebrate Hand Hygiene Day on May 5

Clean hands are important for everyone! Many germs that cause infections are spread by people's hands. Proper hand hygiene can help prevent many infections, including those caused by resistant bacteria.

While Hand Hygiene Day is officially recognized on May 5, hand hygiene saves lives and is something that should be practiced every day.

CDC's Clean Hands Count Campaign aims to:

  • Improve health care provider adherence to the CDC Hand Hygiene Guideline
  • Address the myths and misconceptions about hand hygiene
  • Empower patients to play a role in their care by asking or reminding health care providers to wash their hands

For more information and available resources, visit MDH Hand Hygiene

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 since Hand Hygiene Day is just around the corner, we would like to give a shout out to the Essentia Health Hand Hygiene Team and the work they have done. We hope the lessons learned will provide you with innovative ideas that are useful to you.

Essentia Health Hand Hygiene Team

The goals of the Hand Hygiene Team were to standardize hand hygiene monitoring practices across the health care system and to be able to measure and compare hand hygiene compliance data between facilities. The team settled on a hand hygiene observation method for inpatient areas and a hand hygiene survey card completed by patients for the outpatient areas to track compliance rates since the initiative began. The inpatient rate has increased from 78 percent (in the pilot phase) to 93 percent compliance, and the ambulatory rate has risen from 91 percent to 95 percent compliance. The team is reviewing HAI rates and starting to see a decrease in HAIs.

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.