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Loyola infectious disease department receives prestigious award at APIC

Loyola honored for study on infection prevention initiative

Loyola University Health System

Jorge Parada, MD, hospital epidemiologist and medical director of the Infection Prevention and Control Program at Loyola University Health System, will receive the Implementation Science Award at the Association for Prevention and Infection (APIC). The award, given annually, recognizes studies that represent a potentially significant contribution to the principles and practices of infection prevention. It will be given at the annual meeting of national practitioners of infection control. Dr. Parada was part of a team of infection prevention and control practitioners who led the project.

The study, "Significant Improvement in Hand Hygiene Practices with Just-In-Time Coaching and Targeted Solutions," offers proven techniques in preventing healthcare-acquired infections through improved hand hygiene.

This is the third consecutive year that Loyola has won a major award at APIC.

"We admire Dr. Parada and Loyola's dedication to the profession and to APIC," says Tom Wieken, PhD, chair, APIC 2015 Abstracts Sub-Committee.

Hand hygiene (HH) is the single most important practice in the prevention of healthcare-associated infections (HAI). "Building on principles and tools provided by the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, Loyola developed a two-step HH quality initiative. We piloted a trained cadre of anonymous observers called "Just in Time Coaches" who were tasked to interact with staff on two medical wards and the intensive care unit," says Dr. Parada. The coaches encouraged compliant behavior and corrected barriers to best practices.

The use of coaches in the initial pilot program was so effective that Loyola implemented the program on all hospital units. "Both programs generated statistically significantly increases in HH rates," says Dr. Parada. He anticipates the program Loyola pioneered will be emulated in many healthcare facilities. "Medical institutions are challenged by HH and HAI's and this program documents a reasonable solution to reduce infection and increase the safety of patients and healthcare workers."

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Loyola University Health System is recognized internationally as a leader in infection control and prevention.

Loyola is one of a few select hospitals who invest in universal screening of all inpatients for MRSA. Loyola was one of the first institutions to require all staff to have mandatory flu shots as a condition of employment. Loyola was the only academic hospital to participate in a national C. difficile study and performs the most accurate testing for bacteria. Loyola also actively screens emergency department patients for HIV/AIDS as part of an ongoing research study.

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