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

Minnesota Department of Health

Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Update

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September 2019

In This Edition

Antibiotic Stewardship Honor Roll – Silver Level

Antibiotic Stewardship Honor Roll - Silver Level

The Minnesota Department of Health Healthcare-Associated Infections/Antimicrobial Resistance Section and the Minnesota One Health Antibiotic Stewardship Collaborative would like to recognize Minnesota acute care hospitals, critical access hospitals, and long-term care facilities for their commitment to antibiotic stewardship by inviting you to apply for the Minnesota Antibiotic Stewardship Honor Roll.

The Minnesota Antibiotic Stewardship Honor Roll encourages commitment to antibiotic stewardship across the state. There are three levels of achievement, recognizing different levels of antibiotic stewardship programs. This month, we are highlighting the Silver level of achievement. Silver represents facility-wide commitment to antibiotic stewardship and dedicated actions to guide antibiotic stewardship. In addition to the bronze-level criteria (highlighted in the MDH HAI Update - August 2019), the following criteria must also be met to qualify for the Silver level:

  • An action or intervention in place specific to resident/patient/family/public education regarding antibiotic use (long-term care facilities, acute care, and critical access hospitals)
  • Antibiotic use tracking and reporting to antibiotic stewardship team (acute care and critical access hospitals)
  • Antibiogram use (acute care and critical access hospitals)
  • At least one additional action or intervention in place to address antibiotic stewardship in your hospital or long-term care facility (long-term care facilities, acute care, and critical access hospitals)

It is important to note that requirements for long-term care facilities and hospitals may differ slightly.

Apply for the Honor Roll or view the current list of honorees:

Please send any questions or comments you may have regarding the Honor Roll to

ICAR Expanding to Include Ambulance Services

The Minnesota Infection Control Assessment and Response (ICAR) Program is expanding to include ambulance services. Since 2016, the ICAR team has conducted nearly 400 on-site visits with acute care, long-term care, outpatient, and dialysis settings, and is now seeking partnerships with ambulance services.

Free, non-regulatory, on-site ICAR assessments assist ambulance services with unique infection prevention and control challenges for their setting. The ICAR team will provide technical assistance and resources to help services strengthen infection prevention and control programs. Components of the ICAR assessment include ten domains such as health care personnel safety, hand hygiene, personal protective equipment, injection safety, cleaning, and disinfection.

All Minnesota ambulance services are eligible to Enroll in ICAR.

If you are interested in learning more about having an ICAR visit with your ambulance service, please contact the ICAR team at

Infection Control Assessment and Response (ICAR) Program

2018 Summary of Communicable Diseases

MDH recently released the Annual Summary of Communicable Diseases Reported to the Minnesota Department of Health, 2018

MDH collects information on infectious diseases for the purposes of determining disease impact, assessing trends in disease occurrence, characterizing affected populations, prioritizing control efforts, and evaluating prevention strategies. Prompt reporting allows outbreaks to be recognized at earlier stages when control measures are most likely to be effective in preventing additional cases.

Visit the Reportable Disease Rule page for more information about Minnesota's communicable disease reporting rule, revisions made to the communicable disease reporting rule, and information about disease reporting and HIPAA.

CDC/STRIVE Infection Prevention Training Courses

The States Targeting Reduction in Infections via Engagement (STRIVE) curriculum was developed by national infection prevention experts led by the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) for CDC. These courses are 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.

All seven foundational infection prevention courses have been released.

CDC/STRIVE Infection Control Training:

The curriculum will include over 40 individual training modules grouped into 11 courses. Four targeted infection prevention courses will be released soon to complete the series. All courses are free and offer continuing education (CE).

AHRQ Safety Program for Improving Antibiotic Use

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is funding a program to improve antibiotic prescribing and use in the ambulatory care setting. AHRQ is recruiting pediatric and adult ambulatory clinics to participate in a free 12-month program.

Benefits of participating:

  • Participation in this AHRQ program will help clinic(s) meet the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) requirements and can demonstrate compliance with the new Joint Commission Ambulatory Antimicrobial Stewardship Standard
  • Reduce unnecessary antibiotic use and increase appropriate antibiotic use
  • Enhance teamwork and communication around diagnosis and treatment of infections and antibiotic prescribing in your practice
  • Improve patient safety and safety culture
  • Improve workflow, especially during the busy cold and flu season
  • Maintain and improve patient and family satisfaction

Visit the AHRQ Safety Program for Improving Antibiotic Use website to learn more about the program, apply for the ambulatory care cohort, and sign up for an informational webinar. Please email any questions to

Antibiotic Use in the United States, 2018 Update

Antibiotic Use in the United States, 2018 Update

The CDC Antibiotic Use in the United States, 2018 Update: Progress and Opportunities (PDF) report highlights new antibiotic stewardship data, programs, and resources since the July 2017 report.

CDC recognizes the work done to effectively treat infections, protect patients from the adverse effects of antibiotic use, combat antibiotic resistance, and improve antibiotic prescribing and use through data for action, implementation, innovation, and education.


NHSN LTCF Dashboard Webinar

The Long-term Care Facility Dashboard was released in the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) application in July 2019. The NHSN LTC team will be providing an overview and live demonstration of the LTCF Dashboard features during this webinar.

Registration: NHSN Long-term Care Facility Dashboard Overview

Date: Monday, September 23, 2019

Time: 12:00 – 12:30 PM CDT

The recordings and slides from the 2019 CDC NHSN Long-term Care Facility Component (LTCF) Training are now available! For more information on obtaining continuing education for NHSN training events, visit CDC: Continuing Education.

Upcoming Conferences

APIC MN Fall Conference

The 2019 APIC Minnesota Fall Conference will be held on September 26-27, 2019, at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center, MN. The conference will have breakout sessions for acute, ambulatory, and long-term care as well as sessions that will be of interest to all. This year’s CHAIN Award for Excellence winners will be recognized at the conference on Sept. 27. Visit the conference website for more information and to view the agenda.

Registration: 2019 APIC Minnesota Fall Conference

South Dakota Infection Control Conference

The South Dakota Infection Control Conference is a yearly event intended to provide continuing education in infection prevention to all persons with interest in or responsibilities related to the infection control field in the state of South Dakota and the surrounding areas. The conference is on October 3-4, 2019, at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel in Sioux Falls, SD.

Registration: 2019 South Dakota Infection Control Conference

Educational Opportunities

September is Sepsis Awareness Month

"Get Ahead of Sepsis" is a national educational effort developed by CDC to provide information to patients and health care professionals about how to recognize, treat, and prevent infections. Sepsis is the body's extreme response to an infection. It is life-threatening, and without timely treatment, sepsis can rapidly lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. Each year in the U.S., at least 1.7 million people develop sepsis, and nearly 270,000 Americans die as a result.

Get involved: Share and download free educational materials from CDC: Sepsis Education Information for patients and health care professionals. Learn how to prevent infections, be alert to the signs and symptoms of sepsis, and act fast if sepsis is suspected.

National Penicillin Allergy Day

Sept. 28, 2019, marks the 91st​ anniversary of Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin. Today, it is now recognized as National Penicillin Allergy Day to increase knowledge about penicillin allergies and benefits of allergy testing. In the United States, 10 percent of people report a penicillin allergy, but less than one percent of the population is truly allergic. It is important to correctly identify those with and without a penicillin allergy. This will provide more patients access to safer, less toxic antibiotics and will help in the fight to combat antibiotic-resistant infections.

Get involved: Share and download free materials from the National Penicillin Allergy Day Toolkit. Show your commitment to raising awareness of penicillin allergies within your health system and community!