Innovation Spotlight: New York Hospitals Are Improving Health, Enhancing Quality, and Reducing Costs.

Canton-Potsdam Improves Infection Prevention Procedures

In transforming processes, one hospital looked no further than collaborating with a patient and her family. A local couple were about to enjoy a well-earned retirement when the wife was admitted to Canton-Potsdam Hospital (CPH) for a condition that made her susceptible to infections. She was roomed with a patient infected with a C. difficile infection, and became infected—altering the couple's plans for the future. Her husband graciously agreed to share the couple's experience in a speech to hospital staff, which was recorded and shared with every hospital employee.

CPH initiated a thorough overhaul of its infection prevention protocols, involving every department across multiple "touch-points" on a patient's journey, and devised improved surveillance and prevention procedures. As a result, C. difficile infections declined from 18 to 5 over three years and have remained well below the average for all of New York State.