ICPs turn HIC articles into success stories

2002 Infection Control Innovation Awards Winners

We are proud to announce the winners of our second annual Infection Control Innovation Awards. Sponsored by Hospital Infection Control, the 2002 awards focused on a single theme: Prevention Pays! The awards include a certificate honoring the participant, a $1,000 cash prize for first place; $500 for second place; and the latest addition of the Physicians’ Desk Reference for honorable mention. The awards were given to readers who applied something learned in Hospital Infection Control or its supplements to prevent infections or otherwise protect patients and health care workers. The 2002 winners are:

1. First Place

Sherry Sexton, RN, is an infection control professional at Cleveland (TN) Community Hospital. After HIC forecast in January 2002 that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was going to recommend waterless alcohol rubs for hand hygiene, Sexton trialed products and let staff have input in the selection process. As the CDC finalized its recommendations, she had already implemented the products hospitalwide. "We have increased hand washing and hopefully have decreased the potential for spread of infection in the process," she says. "We estimate that if one new infection is prevented each month, it would be a cost savings of $7,000 to $10,000 monthly."

2. Second Place

Joyce Dulmage, RN, infection control professional at Bon Secours-St. Joseph Hospital in Port Charlotte, FL, developed a surgical site infection (SSI) surveillance program based on HIC articles emphasizing the importance of tracking post-discharge SSIs. Last year, the program resulted in detection of five SSIs that would have not been picked up by traditional surveillance. Dulmage has shared her program with two other hospitals in her community. "The article in HIC changed the infection control surveillance methods in our small community for all three hospitals," she says.

3. Honorable Mention

Cathy Sanford, RN, infection control professional in Dahlonega, GA, has taken a leadership role in bioterrorism preparedness. Following HIC articles warning about the threat, Sanford was preaching bioterrorism readiness before last year’s anthrax attacks. "I was at an infection control workshop in October 2001 when I learned of the death of a patient from anthrax [thought to be of natural causes]," she says. "I knew that day that this was bioterrorism. I came back to our institution and got our plan out and immediately started educating the staff about anthrax."