Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Update - July 2019

Minnesota Department of Health

Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Update

View this as a webpage

July 2019

In This Edition

More MN Hospitals Reporting Antimicrobial Use to NHSN

This year, several Minnesota hospitals have begun tracking and reporting antibiotic use data using the Antimicrobial Use and Resistance Module, a component of the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).

We applaud the efforts of Fairview Health Services, Essentia Health, Allina Health, and Hennepin Healthcare, Minnesota's most recent adopters.

In addition to promoting the safety of their own patients, hospitals reporting their antimicrobial use are making a contribution to public health efforts.

If you are interested in learning more about NHSN antibiotic use reporting or exploring use within your hospital, please contact us at

One Health Antibiotic Stewardship at the Minnesota State Fair

Members of the Minnesota One Health Antibiotic Stewardship Collaborative (MOHASC) will be at the 2019 State Fair each day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. to discuss the problem of antibiotic resistance, how antibiotic stewardship can make an impact, and what everyone can do to combat resistance.

Find us in the Eco Experience Building, learn more about our unique Stewardship Collaborative, and participate in our stewardship pledge! 

On Thursday, August 22, at 10 a.m., a panel of MOHASC members will discuss antibiotic resistance and stewardship on the Eco Experience Sustainability Stage.

The Minnesota State Fair runs from August 22 to September 2, 2019.​

Call for Nominations: 2019 CHAIN Award for Excellence

Are you part of, or do you know a health care team that is doing great work to reduce the incidence of healthcare-associated infections or combat antibiotic resistance? If so, the Collaborative Healthcare-Associated Infection Network (CHAIN) would like to hear about it and recognize the excellent work being done! 

The 2019 CHAIN Award for Excellence commends infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship efforts of health care teams working hard to build a safer health care environment.

Notice on Ophthalmology Equipment Disinfection Practices

If your facility uses tonometers, YAG laser lens, eye specula, or similar ophthalmic devices, please read the following information. Take appropriate steps to ensure adequate reprocessing of ophthalmology equipment.

CDC notified state health departments that The Joint Commission has identified inadequate reprocessing of ophthalmology equipment on a number of recent health care facility inspections. The Joint Commission released the following bulletin in May 2019, highlighting the issues with tonometers and other types of ophthalmic equipment.

Quick Safety: Disinfection of tonometers and other ophthalmology devices

Devices that contact mucous membranes, like the eye, or non-intact skin are considered semi-critical and require high-level disinfection or sterilization. Devices that enter sterile tissue or the vascular system, such as surgical equipment, are considered critical and require sterilization. These practices are detailed in the HICPAC Disinfection and Sterilization Guidelines.

Reprocessing instructions for semi-critical devices should describe at least one method of cleaning and at least one method of high-level disinfection or sterilization. Identification of inadequate manufacturer device reprocessing instructions should be reported to FDA: Reporting Allegations of Regulatory Misconduct.

For questions or to report a possible infection control breach in reprocessing, please contact the Minnesota Department of Health at 651-201-5414 and request to speak to someone in the Healthcare-Associated Infections Section.

2019 WHO Global Survey on IPC & Hand Hygiene

CDC is promoting participation in the World Health Organization’s 2019 WHO Global Survey on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) and Hand Hygiene. The survey is for acute care settings, and its objectives are two-fold: 1) to encourage and support local assessments of IPC and hand hygiene activities using standardized and validated tools, and 2) to gather situational analysis on the level of progress of current IPC and hand hygiene activities around the world. The results will inform future efforts and resource use improvement. Health care facilities that registered for WHO’s SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands may have already received a personal email invitation to participate.

New Interactive Graphic Novel for EVS Personnel

Environmental services (EVS) personnel play a critical role in preventing the spread of germs and healthcare-associated infections. "EVS and the Battle Against Infection" is an interactive graphic novel illustrating the important role of EVS personnel in the prevention of healthcare-associated infections. The online version of the training tool features real-world infection prevention and control scenarios and allows participants to choose options that affect the outcome of the story.

A PDF version of the graphic novel and several handouts are also available from CDC. Use these materials to:

  • Encourage the use of the EVS training tool.
  • Spark infection prevention and control (IPC) conversations among EVS personnel.
  • Engage EVS personnel and promote IPC best practices.

CDC: EVS and the Battle Against Infection: a Graphic Novel

Training Opportunities

CDC/STRIVE Infection Control Training

CDC has released the first three of 11 new infection control training courses: Competency-based Training, Hand Hygiene, and Strategies for Preventing HAIs. These courses are part of the new States Targeting Reduction in Infections via Engagement (STRIVE) curriculum intended for the infection prevention team, hospital leaders, clinical educators, nurse and physician managers, environmental services managers, all patient care staff, and patient/family advisors.

CDC/STRIVE Infection Control Training

The STRIVE curriculum was developed by national infection prevention experts led by the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) for CDC. It will include over 40 individual training modules grouped into 11 courses that focus on foundational and targeted infection prevention strategies. All courses are free and offer continuing education (CE). Additional courses will be launched over the summer.

Interactive Infection Control Training

CDC now offers a new online interactive infection control training to help health care professionals identify infection risks and prevent the spread of HAIs. The training provides free continuing education for health care professionals, including nurses, physician assistants, medical assistants, health educators, and other clinicians (0.1 CEU and 0.6 CNE).

The free, online training can be completed anywhere. It has two modules and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete the entire training.

Let's Talk Patient Safety: Reducing HAI Transmission Risk

Module 1: "What's the Risk?"
This interactive module transports health care professionals into a scenario where they must identify infection risks and take action to protect patients, colleagues, and visitors.

Module 2: "Chain of Infection"
This story-based interactive module challenges professionals to break the chain of infection in a busy health care environment and educate them on the consequences of not following infection prevention and control recommendations.

Learn more: CDC Infection Prevention and Control Training for Healthcare Professionals

Nursing Home Infection Preventionist Training

CDC, in collaboration with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), has launched an online 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.

The course is made up of 23 modules and submodules addressing a variety of topics, including an overview of the IPC program and the role of the infection preventionist, infection surveillance and outbreak management, antibiotic stewardship, and infection prevention practices, such as 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 hope the lessons learned will provide you with innovative ideas that are useful to you.

This month we are featuring two 2018 nominations: Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital and Ridgeview Le Sueur Nursing & Rehab Center.

Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital: Methodist Hospital 2NS Team

The Methodist Hospital ICU team developed and implemented HAI-targeted interventions with the aim of achieving zero HAIs in 2018. These initiatives were a multidisciplinary collaboration among ICU nurses, clinical nurse educator, nursing leadership, infection prevention, ICU providers, respiratory therapist, and others. Interventions included a unit-based quality team to review all HAIs and provide targeted staff takeaways, an emphasis on device reduction in critical care team bedside rounds, and implementation of mandatory skills days for ICU and critical care float pool RNs with emphasis on HAI reduction education and competencies. As of July 31, 2018, there have been zero HAI identified in the ICU patient population.

Ridgeview Le Sueur Nursing & Rehab Center

Ridgeview Le Sueur Nursing & Rehab Center implemented an antibiotic stewardship program designed to optimize treatment of infections while reducing adverse events associated with antibiotic use. The goal is a 50 percent decrease in unnecessary antibiotic scripts by January 2018. The urinary tract infection tracker was updated to include upper respiratory criteria to be followed by nursing staff and providers. As a result of recommendations from an Infection Control Assessment and Response (ICAR) site visit, surveillance was increased and a formal auditing schedule was added. Since the program started, the majority of antibiotic prescribing has been substantiated by positive cultures.

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.