Medical Staff Pulse Newsletter

Pantoprazole as preferred PPI, change from Gamunexto Gammaked

Pharmacy focus

Pantoprazole (Protonix®) is now the preferred proton pump inhibitor and Gammaked® is being dispensed in place of Gamunex®.

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Meetings and events

Grand rounds

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Upcoming CME conferences

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CME Newsletter - September 2012

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Won any awards or had an article accepted for publication? Share your news about professional achievements and other items of interest.

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MD hand hygiene compliance hits all-time high at Cedars-Sinai

Hand Hygiene 280 pxWith physicians routinely tapping on their smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices throughout the day, proper hand hygiene is more important than ever to help ensure patient safety. The good news is that physician hand hygiene compliance has been sustained at more than 90 percent at Cedars-Sinai since July 2011 and even reached an all-time high of 96 percent in July 2012.

But while Cedars-Sinai physicians are edging closer to achieving the organization's goal of 100 percent hand hygiene compliance, the medical staff still lags behind other healthcare workers and employees in terms of overall compliance. Hospital-wide hand hygiene compliance has been sustained at more than 95 percent for the past 12 months, reaching a high of 97 percent in July and August at the medical center, according to the Epidemiology Department.

"We are pleased to see hand hygiene compliance steadily increasing across the organization as more and more staff members automatically incorporate washing their hands or using a hand sanitizer into their patient safety routine," said Rekha Murthy, MD, director of Hospital Epidemiology." But we can do better and, as physicians, we owe it to our patients to provide the safest healthcare environment possible."

Proper hand hygiene is particularly important in hospitals as it is considered the single most important measure to prevent infections and cross-transmission of bacteria and viruses at the point of care. As hand hygiene improves, the number of healthcare-acquired infections decline. For example, only five cases of bloodstream infections due to MRSA, a resistant form of staph infection, have been confirmed at Cedars-Sinai since March 2012. MRSA infections are traditionally associated with hospitals and other healthcare settings and are transmitted primarily by the hands of healthcare workers.

Hand hygiene compliance is measured at Cedars-Sinai by trained observers who routinely monitor whether staff members, including medical staff, clean their hands upon entering and exiting a patient's room. Anyone who fails to comply is given a reminder by the observer after he or she leaves the patient's room. Repeat offenders are subject to disciplinary action and required to attend Hand Hygiene School.

As part of Cedars-Sinai's "Zero" campaign to eliminate healthcare-acquired infections, patients, visitors and staff are reminded of the importance of proper hand hygiene throughout the medical center with messages posted on elevator doors, screensavers, digital monitors and even the hand sanitizer dispensers. In addition, members of medical staff leadership have been taking numerous steps in the past two years to improve hand hygiene compliance among physicians, including posting the names of repeat offenders at clinical department meetings.

(Pictured above): Glenn D. Braunstein, MD, vice president of Clinical Innovation, participated in one of dozens of hand hygiene screensavers featuring members of the medical staff. The screensavers, designed to promote physician hand hygiene compliance, were posted on all clinical workstations.