SFHS Launches CICC Project

St. Francis Health Services advocates for Quality of Care and Safety in their Long Term Care Centers under new Infection Control Grant

St. Francis Health Services (SFHS), Morris, MN, is excited to launch their Controlling Infection Challenges Creatively (CICC) Project as a result of being awarded the Minnesota Nursing Facility Performance-based Incentive Payment Program (PIPP) grant by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS).  Over the next two years, the CICC Project will allow SFHS to develop, revise, and expand their infection prevention and control programs in their thirteen skilled nursing facilities; Aitkin Health Services, Browns Valley Health Center, Chisholm Health Center, Franciscan Health Center (Duluth), Farmington Health Services, Guardian Angels Health & Rehab Center (Hibbing), Koochiching Health Services (Littlefork), Little Falls Health Services, Pennington Health Services (Thief River Falls), Renville Health Services, Viewcrest Health Center (Duluth), West Wind Village (Morris), and Zumbrota Health Services.

Although the care centers within the SFHS network already have policies and procedures in place to prevent infections, this grant will allow them to thoroughly assess and evaluate further what more can be done to reduce the rate of infections.  We will implement evidenced based practice guidelines to provide the safest and most effective care to those residents who make our care center their home. The overall infection prevention and control policy, systems, and environments of the care center will be affected.  This will include enhancing surveillance, accurately identifying infections, performing timely reporting, doing extensive investigations, advocating for proper treatment, reducing the overall rate of infection, and preventing the spread of communicable diseases.

SFHS will develop additional training protocols and resource materials for residents, family, nursing, and all other departments.  The grant will expand the role of the infection control nurse, who will receive specialized training and certification.  Additional training opportunities will be made available to staff working in environmental, housekeeping, and dietary services also.

The timeliness of this grant coincides with a national trend towards reducing infection and transmission rates within the healthcare industry, especially long term care facilities. Antibiotic Stewardship is a key component of the grant and resources, training, and guidance pertinent to antibiotic use will be provided to all its care centers. The plan is to collaborate further with our healthcare partners, medical directors, attending physicians, and consultant pharmacists to assist in setting up standards of practice and guidelines to allow for the best outcomes for our residents needing care for infections.

Marla Miller, Registered Nurse/Public Health Nurse, is the Corporate Grant Coordinator for SFHS.  Miller states, “This is an excellent opportunity for St. Francis Health Services and our thirteen skilled nursing facilities to really make an impact.  In public health nursing, it is the goal to not only focus on the individual, but on the overall population and what contributes to the overall health and wellbeing of that group. Understanding the various types of infections that are common within this population and recognizing the factors that make these individuals susceptible to illness and disease is key in controlling and reducing infection rates.  When we pull the data, assess the information, and look at our numbers, we know that within this population there is an individual person represented.  That person is someone’s spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, etc.  We know that what we do on this level affects each one of our residents.  That affect not only transcends to those residing in our skilled nursing facilities, but to their loved ones and community.  I look forward to partnering with our entire team to make improvements where necessary and to enhance those areas where we are already excelling.  Each facility has its strengths and it is the goal to build upon those strengths for the benefit of our residents and the staff working there.  It is the hope that SFHS will be a shining example of what can be done as we advocate for further improvement in the quality of care that we provide. ”

The CICC Project began January 1, 2017 and will continue through December 31, 2018.  SFHS is a faith-based, not-for-profit healthcare organization.  In addition to their skilled nursing facilities, they offer a variety of services that include customized/assisted living, a full range of therapies, senior housing, transitional and skilled nursing care, and behavioral and residential programs throughout the state of Minnesota.