Emory Report
October 19, 2009
Volume 62, Number 7


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October 19, 2009
Patient safety is target of three campaigns

William A. Bornstein is chief quality and medical officer for Emory Healthcare.

At Emory Healthcare, our primary focus is the safety and well-being of our patients, their families and each other. To that end, we are launching three campaigns this fall aimed at creating a safe environment.

Mandatory seasonal flu vaccination

With the addition of the novel H1N1 (“swine flu”) pandemic, this influenza season has the potential to be extremely severe both for our patient population and for the way we operate as a system. To minimize the risks of this season — and demonstrate our commitment to patient safety ­ seasonal flu vaccination is mandatory for all Emory Healthcare staff and providers. As a condition of employment for staff and medical staff privileges for providers, all staff and providers must be vaccinated against seasonal influenza by Dec. 31, or complete the required paperwork to document either medical or religious exemption.

Infection control training and assessment for providers

Last year, Emory Healthcare launched a required Infection Control Training and Assessment for all providers. The purpose of the program is to ensure all providers are up-to-date on the current infection control knowledge. All providers are required to complete this program by Dec. 31, which aligns with the mandatory flu vaccination requirement. Providers who do not complete this program prior to the deadline will face suspension of privileges.

Hand hygiene

Health care workers, patients and families all agree that hand hygiene is important. While appropriate hand hygiene should be an automatic part of every health care worker’s routine, at times, we may forget this reflex action.

To help us all remember to practice good hand hygiene, Emory Healthcare is launching a “Foam in/Foam out” campaign that will establish, as our minimum standard, the performance of hand hygiene on room entry and room exit. Integral to this campaign is the establishment of a culture where we feel safe and compelled to remind each other to clean our hands. This multimedia campaign will include electronic communications, videos, scripted reminders and measurement of hand hygiene compliance.

These three important programs are just part of how we create a safe environment for our patients and their families and for ourselves. Thank you for your support of our efforts.