Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) is one of the most common and dangerous healthcare-acquired infections. A 2015 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that it caused almost half a million infections among patients in the United States in a single year. An estimated 15,000 deaths are directly attributable to C. difficile infections annually. Preventing the spread of infection is everyone’s responsibility. Wisconsin hospitals’ rates of C. difficile are among the lowest in the nation, but there is always more work to do.
The WHA qality team, in partnership with the Great Lakes Partnership for Patients Hospital Improvement Innovation Network, held a full-day interactive event Nov. 5 at the WHA Training Center to discuss the innovative initiative launched by Springfield, Illinois-based HSHS St. John’s Hospital. Attendees from several hospitals across the state gathered to spread a proven health care innovation that has increased patients’ satisfaction, reduced harms and decreased costs. The effort was based on the Illinois Health and Hospital Association Innovation Challenge and delivered substantial reductions in hospital-acquired C. difficile infections. The purpose of the event was to review the “Road to C. difficile Reduction Playbook” and use it as a framework to spread C. difficile infection (CDI) and antimicrobial stewardship successes across the state of Wisconsin.
Participants took a deep dive into how HSHS St. John’s Hospital drastically decreased its CDI rates and mapped out a strategy and overall workflow roadmap to implement similar strategies within their facilities. The event also allowed WHA members to network, brainstorm and engage with peers. Attendees left with vision canvases that will be used to guide discussions with internal staff to develop a plan for improving CDI testing, integration of IT order sets with clinician workflow, and reducing CDI in patients. Moving forward, attendees will begin process change based on the goals set during the event and garner leadership buy-in for the improvement work.