The most important thing we do on The #HCBiz Show! is confront reality. We don’t complain about how things are, or how they ought to be. We know that’s a dead-end. Instead, we examine our current situation and identify our obstacles. Then we come up with practical ideas for how to work through, under, around, or with those obstacles. That’s the only reasonable approach for an innovator.
Dealing with obstacles to Infection Control
The Healthcare Infection Transmission Systems (HITS) conference (and the consortium behind it) gives us wonderful example of this #HCBiz philosophy in action. The HITS consortium knows that the science and technology exist to make significant strides in Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) and reducing Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI). They also know that, while the benefits of the solutions seem obvious to many, it’s not a slam-dunk to get health systems to adopt them in meaningful and sustainable ways.
There are many reasons for this, and as usual, it all starts with communication and culture. That’s why the HITS consortium aims to bring experts from many disciplines together to address these issues collaboratively. The consortium’s goal, as steering committee member Dr. Christine Greene put it, is to promote “the how and why in support of culturally relevant and contextually anchored quality improvement initiatives”. If you’re a fan of The #HCBiz Show!, it’ll come as no surprise to you that we love that approach.
A scientific analysis of culture and communication
The events keynote speaker is Myles Leslie, Ph.D. Myles is a Healthcare Sociologist and Institutional Ethnographer. Ethnography, which is a new concept for me, is basically a scientific way to understand a day in the life. The following excerpt from his speaker bio will give you a pretty good idea at what HITS is trying to accomplish here:
As part of this work, he has engaged the full spectrum of health system stakeholders, including policy makers, healthcare administrators, clinical specialists, clinical support staff, and patients and families. Dr. Leslie uses ethnography and its allied qualitative methods to identify and break down communication barriers and cultural silos between these stakeholders. His expertise is in surfacing communications issues and cultural interactions that can remain buried in the normal flow of clinical or policy work and in quantitative studies. By addressing questions of how and why that purely quantitative designs are often ill-equipped to answer, Dr. Leslie’s research enables the development of culturally-relevant, contextually-anchored QI interventions.
Yes, please. I think healthcare innovation would benefit from a healthy dose of Ethnography across the board.
What you’ll learn from the show
So, we’re bringing you a preview of the HITS conference for several reasons:
- To dig deeper into the HITS consortium’s approach to innovation, which aligns so well with the core philosophy of #HCBiz.
- To explore the conferences ties to our IPAC series. I received quite an education doing that series and now see IPAC as a critical element in the future of our healthcare system.
- To bring our listeners information on a small (~100 attendees), lesser-known conference that offers an opportunity for real connection and learning. We plan to bring you more of these in the coming months.
You don’t have to be in the IPAC space to get value from this conversation. Anyone innovating in healthcare should give our guests, Dr. Christine Greene and Dr. Kelly Reynolds a listen. Their thoughtful approach to innovation with a healthy respect for communication, culture, value, and proof is both instructive and refreshing.
Here are a few highlights from our conversation:
- What is the HITS Consortium? (3:00)
- What is the HITS conference? (4:10)
- What made you decide that a conference was needed? (6:00)
- How can we help innovators isolate, quantify and effectively communicate the value they bring to the table? (9:00)
- Who should attend the conference? (19:45)
- Who are the most important people to get the HITS message in front of? (21:00)
- If you could get a message in front of every healthcare CEO in America, what would you tell them? (23:15) If you only listen to 2 minutes of this show, start here. Both of their answers are spot on!
- Where can people learn more? (25:00)
I hope you enjoy it!
~ Don Lee
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Prefer to read it? Ok, but you’ll have to wait a bit. Transcription coming soon!
About Dr. Christine Greene
Christine Greene, MPH, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator for Sanitation and Contamination Control
NSF International, Applied Research Center
Ann Arbor, MI
Dr. Christine Greene has over 9 years of experience in epidemiological and laboratory research. She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Health Sciences and an MPH in Hospital and Molecular Epidemiology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her academic research focus has been on healthcare pathogen transmission, pathogen environmental survival, and biofilms which has led to multiple publications. At NSF International, Dr. Greene has been making strides to improve public health in the areas of infectious disease prevention and control in clinical and dental settings. Her research focus in on healthcare pathogen transmission, pathogen environmental survival, disinfection, hand hygiene and biofilms. Her work serves to improve the accuracy of environmental mediated infectious disease transmission modeling, strengthens current guidelines to control healthcare-associated infections and provides new insights that will stimulate innovative approaches to reduce the risk of biofilm-related infections, pathogen transmission and curtail the environmental persistence and transmission of infectious agents. Dr. Greene also co-founded the Healthcare Infection Transmission Systems (HITS) Consortium – an organization that strives to break down silos in healthcare using a cross-disciplinary, systems approach to addressing the pressing issues around infection control.
About Dr. Kelly A. Reynolds
Kelly A. Reynolds, MSPH, PhD
University of Arizona
Dr. Reynolds is an Associate Professor in Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Arizona’s College of Public Health, and Director of the Environment, Exposure Science and Risk Assessment Center. She has over 29 years of experience as an environmental microbiologist and directing a research program related to infectious disease transmission, quantitative risk assessment, and public health policy and education. The relationship of fomite, hand and air contamination and pathogen survival characteristics relative to human health outcomes has been a common theme in Dr. Reynolds’ research. During the course of her academic career, she has served as a principal investigator on numerous projects and published over 350 journal articles, book chapters and professional reports. Recent and related projects involved the risk of MRSA transmission via hospital personnel scrubs, evaluation of an infection control intervention for first responders, development of infectious waste disposal protocols, tracking environmental microbiomes in long-term care facilities and testing methods for decontamination of soft surfaces in healthcare environments. As co-founder of the HITS Consortium, Dr. Reynolds brings her expertise in integrating academic research teams with medical personnel, clinical diagnostic laboratories, patients, industries and other stakeholders for a multidisciplinary approach toward research, communication and management efforts in infection prevention.
About Healthcare Infection Transmission Systems (HITS)
The Healthcare Infections Transmission System (HITS) Consortium looks to promote public health by reducing healthcare-associated infections through the integration of best infection prevention practices. HITS will focus on the major pathogen transmission systems in the healthcare setting specifically; surfaces, person to person, water and air. Join us for this one-of-a-kind, multimodal event where researchers and experts from across disciplines will work toward identifying research gaps and applying data-driven methods in the field. Meet, greet and share ideas with the individuals and organizations who are growing and sustaining the industry, as we explore creative and innovative solutions to this global problem.
How is HITS different?
This year’s conference theme is Catalyst for Change. Fittingly, HITS will take a holistic perspective to targeting healthcare associated infections. The conference looks to focus on “hospital health.” By including multiple disciplines in the conversation, HITS looks to remove silos and encourage a systems approach, aligning with infection prevention.
Who Should Attend?
Hospital management and Administrators
Healthcare facilities and Environmental Services managers
Research Scientists and Industry experts
All those with backgrounds in:
Building water health
Healthcare Environmental Services (EVS)
Healthcare Facilities Management
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About the Infection Prevention and Control Series
If you liked this episode then you should also check out our 8-Part Series on Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC). We’d like to thank our partners InfectionControl.tips and the Center of Excellence for Infection Prevention and Control (COE IPAC) for their support and guidance with that series.
InfectionControl.tips is a Pan-Access journal that extends globally and touches locally. www.IC.tips is: Free to Publish. Free to Access and provides Accessible Scientific Services.
About Center of Excellence for Infection Prevention and Control (COE IPAC)
Center of Excellence for Infection Prevention and Control (COE IPAC) is a collaborative effort to accelerate and support new solutions that hold the promise of significantly advancing infection prevention and control. On a quarterly basis, the Center of Excellence will evaluate at least 3 international innovations – giving them access to independent testing, publication as well as a US commercialization.