Heroes of APIC: Increasing Patient Safety and Containing Outbreak

Recorded On: 03/21/2019

IP Competency: Novice, Proficient, Expert

Duration: 60 minutes      Available through: 12/31/2021

Presentation #1: Containing an Outbreak Through Preparation and Collaboration

The infection prevention and control (IPC) team at Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota effectively employed their experience and relationships to rapidly contain the largest state measles outbreak in 30 years.

When Children’s identified the first measles case in April 2017, established IPC processes and systems gave the team a head start on containment. These included an “empty and ready” spreadsheet to track individual patient details, an electronic medical record that generated reports detailing potential in-hospital exposures, and the knowledge that Children’s staff was MMR-vaccinated. The organization mobilized by using the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS). “We designated a single process of communication and emphasized that HICS only works if everyone follows it,” Stinchfield said.

The Children’s team also helped contain the outbreak statewide by partnering with the Minnesota Department of Health to assist with at-home patient management and sharing information about their interventions in statewide clinicians’ conference calls. Ultimately, the Children’s IPC team helped end the measles transmission within five months and a total of 75 cases, while also improving patient management and fostering IPC relationships statewide.

Presentation #2: Making Patients Safer Through Leadership and Innovation

Dr. Cindy Hou has systematically created and sustained programs that reduced rates of multiple healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) while improving collaboration around patient safety at her hospital system.

Named physician chair of infection control for Jefferson Health New Jersey in 2012, Hou quickly determined that she wanted to expand beyond the Infection Control Committee to reduce HAIs. She established a task force to address rising Clostridium difficile (C. diff) rates that same year and followed annually with new task forces addressing central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI; 2013), Sepsis on the Floors (2014) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI; 2015).

Hou’s multi-disciplinary approach emphasizes leadership involvement and mutual respect to ensure task-force members’ engagement and long-term participation. The approach has generated impressive results: CLABSI rates at Jefferson Health have decreased from 1.8 in 2016 to 0.4 in 2017. CAUTI cases declined from 27 in 2013 to 17 in 2016. Antibiotic use decreased while the hospital-acquired C. diff rate declined from 5.1 to 3.0 in two years. A unique “Sepsis on the Floors” program—emphasizing recognition and management of hospital-onset sepsis—helped to decrease sepsis-associated mortality by 10 percent.


BD is pleased to support the APIC Heroes of Infection Prevention Program and the outstanding and essential work of the Heroes honorees in the field of infection prevention.

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Patsy Stinchfield, MS, CPNP, CIC

Senior Director, Infection Prevention and Control at Children’s Minnesota

Patricia (Patsy) Stinchfield, MS, RN, CPNP, CIC  is a board certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner with 30 years in Infectious Diseases who specializes in vaccine preventable diseases and is board certified in infection prevention and control.  She is the Senior Director of Infection Prevention & Control and the Children’s Immunization Project at Children’s Minnesota.  

She is a widely recognized specialist in vaccine-preventable diseases, having served as the first Nurse voting member of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in 2004 where she continues as a liaison representing the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners.  She is a long-time member of the CDC’s ACIP Influenza Working Group and the pediatric schedule group.  

Patsy is an Executive Board member for the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) serving as the current Vice President of the NFID Board whose mission is to educate clinicians and the public about infectious diseases and how to prevent them. She has published and is a regular lecturer in pediatric vaccine related topics including key topics in 2018: Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal (June 2019 Publication scheduled in  PIDJ-218-685R2) Title: Measles Hospitalizations at a United States Children’s Hospital 2011-2017 and “The burden of influenza on children in the United States”  at the September, 2018 European Influenza Summit.

Patsy is often sought for media comment locally, nationally and internationally.  She participated in numerous interviews including the BBC, The Washington Post, NBC Nightly News, NPR and MPR while leading the Children’s Hospital Incident Command response to the 2017 Minnesota measles outbreak. She has been instrumental in increasing the Children’s Minnesota award-winning staff flu vaccine rate to 94% without a mandate and has sustained that over several seasons.

Jennifer Boe, BSN, RN, PHN, CIC

Infection Preventionist, Infection Prevention and Control at Children’s Minnesota

Jen Boe is an infection preventionist (IP) at Children’s Minnesota. Jen has spent her career in pediatrics, beginning as an emergency medical technician in the emergency department at Children’s Minnesota. Following nursing licensure, Jen worked as a staff RN in the PICU at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. After returning to Children’s Minnesota, Jen continued to work as a staff RN in the organization’s two PICUs. Jen also worked as a public health nurse prior to transitioning to infection prevention and control. As an IP, her areas of focus include infection prevention in pediatric critical and emergency care, as well as laboratory, radiology, respiratory care, ECMO, and emergency preparedness. Jen earned a BS in microbiology from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in 2004 and a BSN from the College of St. Scholastica in 2006. Jen has been board certified in infection prevention and control since 2016.


Infection Control Officer at Jefferson Health New Jersey

Dr. Hou is an infectious diseases physician and the Infection Control Officer at Jefferson Health New Jersey.  She is also the physician chair for their hospital system’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Committee, Sepsis on the Floors Task Force, and Infection Prevention Task Force. Dr. Hou has lectured on sepsis and antimicrobial stewardship at the state and national level. She is the physician champion for the NJHA’s (New Jersey Hospital Association) Stewardship Collaborative, a state collaborative to promote guidance on use of antimicrobials and to reduce Clostridium difficile infections. She received her B.S. from Yale, her M.A. and M.B.A. from Boston University and her D.O. from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. In addition, she serves on the Advisory Board for the Lupus Asian Network (LANtern) of the Hospital for Special Surgery.

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03/21/2019 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes
03/21/2019 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes
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