Improving patient outcomes

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Department of Clinical Epidemiology oversees the Infection Prevention program at all Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s inpatient and outpatient facilities including over 1,300 inpatient beds, >61,000 patient admissions per year and 1.76 million annual outpatient visits.

The purpose of the Infection Prevention program is to provide a microbiologically safe environment to protect Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center patients, healthcare workers and visitors from healthcare associated infections. The activities are primarily directed at:  

  • Education
  • Surveillance
  • Clinical research for prevention of all healthcare associated infections such as device related infections, surgical site infections and central line infections, Clostridium difficile and MDROs  
The program consists of the:
  • Medical director
  • Associate medical director
  • Infection prevention manager and five infection preventionist practitioners (IP)
  • Data manager
  • One part-time student for clerical support

Member National Health Safety Network

The OSUWMC contributes infection surveillance data to the National Health Safety Network. Improving patient safety consists of an active surveillance program for:
  • High-risk
  • High-morbidity selected surgical procedures
  • Newer surgical procedures to assess unanticipated risks
  • Catheter related blood stream infections in the intensive care units
  • Ventilator associated pneumonias
  • Catheter associated urinary tract infections
Surveillance findings are incorporated into the development of performance improvement programs to improve patient outcomes. In addition, the IPs submit quarterly pathogen prevalence reports to the intensive care units and track and abrogate any potential negative trends based on intensive care unit surveillance data.

We have a close working relationship with the Ohio Department of Health, where laboratory specimens can be studied by pulse-field gel electrophoresis, if necessary.

We work with the Department of Pharmacy to encourage appropriate antibiotic choices for selected clinical diagnoses and to decrease the risk of developing C. difficile.