This episode is part of our in-depth coverage of the Healthcare Infection Transmission Systems Consortium (HITS) 2018 conference in Nashville, TN that took place September 18-20th. 

On this episode, we wrap-up our coverage of the HITS 2018 conference. We talk with HITS board members Dr. Kelly Reynolds and Savannah Hatt about what we learned at the 2018 conference, what’s next for the HITS Consortium, how you can get involved, and what to expect from the HITS 2019 conference in Buffalo, NY.

Show notes:

2:32 A great time in Nashville

3:33 Summary of the insights you missed at HITS 2018

4:58 How clean is clean enough?

6:47 A Bundled Systems approach: Designing for Clean.

7:55 After measuring how healthcare facilities are achieving reductions in hospital-acquired infections (HAI), HITS has assigned quantitative values to infection prevention investments called Clean Credits. As you layer different interventions into your system, Clean Credits will quantify what your expected ROI should be.

11:55 A Systems Approach VS a Systematic Approach Standard Operating Procedures are important, but culture holds it all together.

14:40 EVS is a protector of ROI but not always given enough resources. Make sure that the staff knows how important their role is.

16:41 How can we design the ideal treatment room? Seamless walls. Sealed entryways. We need to connect healthcare architects and designers with infections prevention. The best time is during renovations but awareness is poor.

21:30 Bringing the C-Suite to the table. Nothing moves without the right decision makers. To become a priority you need to paint a very clear picture.

22:59 There were lots of discussions about the practical side of implementation. Lots of Infection Preventionists (IPs) in attendance this year at Workgroup meetings. Many discussions centered around workflow and concluded with a solution to empower EVS technicians and arming the C Suite with research.

25:20 You Need To Be Here! These conversations happen nowhere else.

  • Dry biofilms. Seeing what’s left behind.
  • More applications for tracking pathogens, tracking mutations and antibiotic resistance.
  • What can be present that we can’t culture?
  • Spores on wheels. How many environments does a food cart travel into?
  • HVAC simulation model of containment and control.
  • Waterborne pathogens like Legionella.
  • Training programs at the conference.

31:27 The 8 Workgroups from 2017 presented on their ongoing research. Looking forward to 2019, Workgroups are encouraged to collaborate with each other for more interconnected systems solutions. THIS IS THE BEST TIME TO JOIN A WORKGROUP!!!

34:04 Plans for HITS Consortium 2019: Outreach beyond hospitals. Sponsors for research in the form of financial support, lab space, and scientific advisors for our Workgroups.

36:26 We’ve all be a patient before. We can all get behind infection prevention. Anyone who is interested can attend foundation dinners and other events. Help us get the research and its implementation.

37:50 When and where is 2019 – Aug 6-8 in Buffalo! We’re expecting a big Canadian attendance for companies looking to do business internationally.

Call to Action

  1. Come to the Conference
  2. Participate in Workgroups
  3. Volunteer!!!
  4. Donate financially
  5. Sponsor through other support

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Thank you to HITS, Christine Greene of NSF International, Kelly Reynolds of the University of Arizona and Michael Diamond of The Infection Prevention Strategy for working with us on this conference coverage. It was a great event, in a great city, attended by true heroes of Infection Prevention and Control from all over the world.

Be sure to check out the next HITS conference in August 2019 in Buffalo, NY!


About Dr. Kelly A. Reynolds

Kelly A. Reynolds, MSPH, PhD
Associate Professor
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ

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.

University of Arizona’s College of Public Health

Environment, Exposure Science and Risk Assessment Center at the University of Arizona


About Savannah Hatt, MPH

Project manager for the Applied Research Center at NSF International
HITS Board Member

Savannah Hatt is a Project Manager in the area of sanitation and contamination control for the Applied Research Center at NSF International. Joining the team in March of 2016, Ms. Hatt is primarily responsible for managing client projects and for supporting development of new service offerings for the healthcare industry. She also acts as the conference coordinator for the Healthcare Infection Transmission Systems (HITS) annual conference, which was first held in 2017. Ms. Hatt holds a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and a Master’s of Public Health in epidemiology, and her graduate research focused on reducing healthcare-associated infections.

NSF International


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.

Learn more:


For questions or to join their mailing list, email:

Twitter: @HITSConsortium

HITS Consortium on LinkedIn


Related and/or Mentioned on the Show

HITS 2018: A Catalyst for Change in Infection Control – Conference preview with Dr. Christine Greene and Dr. Kelly Reynolds

Why Healthcare Needs a Systems Approach with Jason “The Germ Guy” Tetro from HITS 2018

Bringing Science to the Art of Hospital Cleaning w/ Michael Rochon from HITS2018

Preventing HAIs at the Source w/ Al Wickheim and Laura Barker of Prodaptive Medical Innovations from HITS 2018

Clean Air and Patient Satisfaction w/ Samantha Kitchen of Radic8 Ltd from HITS2018

HCAHPS and the Patient Safety vs. Patient Satisfaction Conundrum w/ Christine Greene and Maurits Hughes from HITS2018

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