HCA Healthcare’s chief epidemiologist, Dr. Ken Sands, shares a note of gratitude to honor and recognize the hard work of HCA Healthcare’s infection preventionists.

This week marks the International Infection Prevention Week observance, which serves to reiterate the importance of seasonal flu vaccinations, raise awareness of infection prevention practices and highlight ways to prevent the spread of hospital-acquired infection (HAIs).

To recognize and celebrate the hard work of our infection preventionists, chief medical officer and president of clinical operations, Dr. Jonathan Perlin, and chief nurse executive and senior vice president, Dr. Jane Englebright joined me to share a very special ‘thank you’ for our infection prevention heroes.

Infection prevention at HCA Healthcare focuses on providing a safe environment for all patients, employees and staff by preventing the transmission of infectious diseases and viruses. By creating a culture of patient safety in all care facilities, each member of the care team plays a key role in keeping the clinical environment infection-free.

Leading the way in these efforts are HCA Healthcare’s infection prevention experts. Established at each HCA Healthcare facility, an infection prevention specialist actively leads the way in improving infection prevention best practices. As a learning health system, HCA Healthcare has the scale and ability to pioneer innovative ways to reduce hospital-associated infections with key trials, such as REDUCE MRSA and ABATE. Initiatives like the Sepsis Prediction and Optimization of Therapy, SPOT, program and the universal protection framework reinforce HCA Healthcare’s commitment to not only protecting our patients but our colleagues as well.

In 2020, this dedication to improving and preventing the spread of infection has been even more apparent during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Infection preventionists and facility personal protective equipment (PPE) stewards have worked to optimize the enterprise Universal Protection standard, which strengthens patient and clinician safety and confidence across all sites of care.

As colder weather approaches, flu season and the COVID-19 pandemic will increase the need for robust infection prevention practices. Actions such as washing your hands, receiving necessary vaccinations and covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing are essential in reducing the spread of infection.

We wish each of our colleagues a safe and celebratory International Infection Prevention Week. Thank you for all you do, today and every day.

(Left to Right) Dr. Ken Sands, Chief Epidemiologist; Julia Moody, Sr. Director, Infection Prevention; Jackie Blanchard; AVP, Infection Prevention; Bridget Malaney, Operations Manager, Infection Prevention

Founded in 1968, Nashville-based HCA Healthcare is one of the nation’s leading providers of healthcare services, comprising more than 2,000 sites of care, including 186 hospitals, surgery centers, freestanding ERs, urgent care centers, and physician clinics, in 21 states and the United Kingdom.