From SHM

SHM aids national infection prevention and control effort

Multidisciplinary teams celebrate achievements in getting to zero

The Society of Hospital Medicine is pleased to share successes and resources from a 3-year national quality improvement program called STRIVE (States Targeting Reduction in Infections Via Engagement). This program targeted opportunities to streamline and enhance infection prevention and control efforts in participating hospitals.

SHM was a key partner in the STRIVE program, which was managed by the Health Research & Educational Trust, the not-for-profit research and education affiliate of the American Hospital Association. Other partners included the American Society for Healthcare Engineering, Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and experts from academic institutions and professional societies such as Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.; Rush University, Chicago; and the Association for the Healthcare Environment. SHM provided specific knowledge and experience on HAI prevention and helped develop the STRIVE curriculum and resources. Faculty coaches from SHM also supported STRIVE hospitals by presenting on webinars, attending in-person meetings, and consulting on calls.

Following the U.S. experience with Ebola, the Centers for Disease Control and Infection identified the critical importance of enhancing infection control for all infectious threats to protect both patients and health care personnel. The CDC also recognized that many state and regional organizations and agencies work with the same health care facilities in order to coordinate efforts to address infectious threats. The STRIVE program provided tools and resources to help communities strengthen the relationships among diverse organizations to maximize improvement and coordination.

Closely aligned with SHM’s mission to promote exceptional care for hospitalized patients, the CDC’s STRIVE program goals were as follows:

  • To expand the CDC’s Targeting Assessment for Prevention (TAP) strategy of using surveillance data to identify hospitals with a disproportionately high burden of health care–associated infections (HAIs),
  • To build and strengthen relationships between state and regional organizations that help hospitals with infection control and prevention, and
  • To provide technical assistance to hospitals to improve implementation of infection control practices in existing and newly constructed health care facilities.

The participants in this program included 449 hospitals from 28 states and the District of Columbia. Short-stay and long-term acute care hospitals that had a high burden of Clostridium difficile infection, and a high burden of one or more of the following HAIs – central line–associated bloodstream infection, catheter associated urinary tract infection, and health care–associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia – were targeted. Each participant had access to specific education modules, webinars, and learning networks designed to enhance collaboration, performance improvement, and understanding of the successes and barriers to coordinating hospital- and community-based services. Hospitals joined the program in cohorts and engaged in a year-long effort to reduce infection burden. During the program implementation period, many hospitals showed measurable improvement by achieving an HAI-specific relative rate reduction or maintenance of a rate of zero between baseline and intervention periods.

Key successes of the program centered around development of multidisciplinary teams that engaged not only the infection preventionists but also such areas as environmental services and other departments that may not have traditionally been included in infection prevention efforts. These teams focused on establishing competency-based trainings and processes for auditing competencies. One series of STRIVE resources helped hospitals learn new ways to implement best practices and communicate with diverse departments so every team member could participate in removing barriers to infection prevention in the hospital.

SHM was especially pleased to be a part of a program that brought together state health departments, state hospital associations, quality innovation network–quality improvement organizations, and other agencies and health systems committed to infection prevention. The collaboration and partnerships among the STRIVE program participants helped minimize duplication of work and improve efficiency and effectiveness of infection prevention efforts lead by hospitals.

To learn more about the STRIVE resources, visit

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