Medina Memorial reports big drop in hospital-acquired infections

Staff Reports Posted 21 August 2015 at 12:00 am

MEDINA – Medina Memorial Hospital, which was recently highlighted in a report by The Buffalo News for a high rate of hospital-acquired infections, has significantly reduced those health care-associated infections, hospital officials said today.

“I am proud of our staff efforts and the very significant 71.4 percent decrease in infections,” said Wendy Jacobson, President/CEO of Orleans Community Health, parent organization of Medina Memorial. “We work diligently every day to provide the best possible patient experience in all aspects of their stay with us.”

A national ranking by Consumer Reports of acquired infections at hospitals put Medina Memorial Hospital far below average in preventing five infections, based on data from October 2013 through September 2014.

The Buffalo News reported on that data, and said Medina’s infection rate was the highest of 13 hospitals in Western New York.

The data generated an intensive performance improvement review to identify the source of the high numbers, Medina Memorial officials said.

One key finding was that patients entering the hospital with an existing infection did not have blood tests ordered on the day of admission but on the second or third day. This resulted in the infections being reported as a hospital acquired infections, even though they were not, Medina Memorial said in a news release today.

The hospital’s infection control protocol was reviewed. This includes the use of standardized protocols, performing blood cultures on admission to identify and begin treatment of exiting infections, following correct hand-washing procedures, cleaning of equipment such as blood pressure cuffs etc. between patients, the types of disinfectant being used, staff and patient education, and ongoing monitoring.

“We have taken an aggressive approach to infection control,” says Karrie Mikits, registered nurse and infection control manager. “It has resulted in a very significant 71.4 percent decrease in hospital acquired infections. We changed our approach to doing blood cultures on admission, changed to a more effective type of disinfectant being used to clean equipment, improved communication with staff and physicians, and increased staff education and accountability. I also communicate with the wonderful staff at the Orleans County Health Department as needed.”