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Excela Health Among Nation’s Heroes in Infection Prevention

GREENSBURG, PA, July 17, 2018 …An Excela Health continuous improvement team focused on infection prevention and control was selected as one of the 2018 Heroes in Infection Prevention Award recipients by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). The Heroes of Infection Prevention Award honors those who have succeeded in reducing infection, raising awareness, and improving the health and well-being of patients, healthcare workers, and the public. Recipients were recognized during the APIC conference held in Minneapolis in June and will be featured in a future issue of Prevention Strategist.

Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is a bacteria found in the intestines. The balance of bacteria
in the colon can change with illness. This is especially true with antibiotic medication usage.
Taking antibiotics may allow the C. diff to grow, multiply, and produce a toxin that causes
illness. The C. diff infection also may occur after completing an antibiotic prescription. Some
symptoms of C. diff include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain,
dehydration, and change in stool patterns.

The Excela Health Heroes of Infection Prevention tackled C. diff rates at Excela’s
hospital in Greensburg, Latrobe, and Mount Pleasant. Over a two-year period, Excela’s
continuous improvement efforts resulted in a 43.8% reduction in healthcare-associated C. diff

“The team was really focused on C. diff infections and the identification and prevention
of those,” said APIC awards committee chair Elizabeth Mosees, MSN, MBA, RN, CIC, FAPIC,
especially in “what they did through patient education and physician education through their
antibiotic stewardship program and a variety of other comprehensive strategies. They were
able to achieve long-standing reductions in their rate and they did that through a system of

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