Arkansas Hospitals Health & Science

STRIVE-ing to Prevent Hospital-Acquired Infections

Nancy Godsey, Arkansas Hospital Association Director of Patient Safety and Quality, opens the STRIVE conference attended by 105 representatives from 39 Arkansas hospitals. (Photo by Nikki Wallace)

By Nancy Godsey, RN, CPHQ, Director of Quality and Patient Safety, Arkansas Hospital Association

We all strive to do better each day, in our work as health care professionals and in our daily lives. The Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) of the American Hospital Association (AHA) is also STRIVE-ing to promote reduction in hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) through its STRIVE program – States Targeting Reduction in Infections via Engagement.

Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and administered by HRET, the purpose of the initiative is to improve implementation of infection prevention and control efforts in acute care hospitals and long-term acute care hospitals across the United States. While much has been done in the area of Quality Improvement, the aim of the STRIVE program is to accelerate current strategies to:

  • Achieve reductions in the overall burden of HAIs;
  • Strengthen infection control practices by expanding the use of the Targeted Assessment for Prevention (TAP) strategy;
  • Build and strengthen relationships between state hospital associations, health departments and other HAI partners; and
  • Improve implementation of infection control practices in existing and newly-constructed health care facilities.

The Arkansas Hospital Association, in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, hosted a STRIVE-focused conference October 26, with sharing by infection preventionists from participating hospitals and a dynamic presentation by Michigan’s Vineet Chopra, MD, MSc.

Dr. Vineet Chopra, internationally known for his work in reducing HAIs, explains the concept of “Michigan MAGIC.” (Photo by Nikki Wallace)


Dr. Chopra’s work in defining appropriate indications for insertion and maintenance of PICC lines is known worldwide, and his former roots in the community of Hot Springs made him feel right at home with the 105 Arkansas hospital team members who came to learn from him.

Ten Arkansas hospitals have signed on for the complete STRIVE project work, but 39 hospitals were represented at the conference, a testament to Dr. Chopra and the incredible work in Michigan with the Michigan Appropriateness Guide for Intravenous Catheters, otherwise known as “Michigan MAGIC.”

MAGIC is a set of recommendations that defines when a particular vascular access device is appropriate for use. Written by 14 of the world’s foremost experts and a patient, MAGIC covers the most commonly used IV devices, indications, patient types and settings for use. It is unique in the world of vascular access.

Dr. Chopra explained the MAGIC processes and protocols, and backed them up with data showing dramatic reductions in infections when the MAGIC recommendations are adopted consistently.

Recommendations found in the MAGIC guidance can now be found in an easy-to-use mobile application available on both the iTunes App Store and on the Google Play Store. The app is free and available for download by anyone with a mobile device running iOS/Android. Based on user feedback, the Michigan MAGIC app will present the user with an easy-to-use set of recommendations on the appropriateness or inappropriateness of intravenous catheters, as well as further information derived directly from the guidance. The app is designed to improve decision-making in vascular access. (Go to for more information, an app demonstration by Dr. Chopra and additional free resources.)

Mr. Potato Head helped make memorable the Plan-Do-Study-Act process method. (Photo by Nikki Wallace)


Trish Gould, RN, Infection Preventionist at CHI St. Vincent-Hot Springs, reviewed the benefits of On-Demand Testing for C. difficile, including faster test results, appropriate treatment, decreased length of stay and reduction in antibiotic utilization.

Pam Higdem, BSN, RN, CIC, CRCST/CHL and Director of Infection Prevention and Control at UAMS, explained the many steps taken at UAMS to implement evidence-based practices to prevent Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSIs). They start with insuring that new hires receive the proper education during orientation, and being certain the patient and their families receive education prior to insertion. She also shared a Handwashing Education/Motivational Video produced at UAMS, which starred a well-respected physician – lending credence to the message.

Stephanie Free, MSN, RN and Infection Preventionist at Baxter Regional Medical Center, discussed the numerous strategies utilized to reduce Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTIs) at her facility, including a nurse-driven catheter removal protocol, multi-disciplinary rounds, leadership involvement, hand hygiene and auditing to ensure compliance with the maintenance bundle.

And to help remind everyone of the effective use of the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) method, AFMC’s Michelle Sharp, MSN, RN, CPPS, Outreach Specialist and RN Team Lead, took attendees down a great study path illustrating the PDSA cycle for action-oriented learning featuring the ever-popular Mr. Potato Head toy from Hasbro. Who says you can’t have fun while learning about quality improvement?

For more information about STRIVE resources, or to discuss any other specific needs the Arkansas Hospital Association’s Quality Team can help you address, feel free to contact me at 501.224.7878 or by email at

The above article is from the Fall 2017 edition of Arkansas Hospitals, a quarterly magazine published by the Arkansas Hospital Association. Vowell, Inc. produces Arkansas Hospitals on behalf of the Arkansas Hospital Association. This article is reprinted with permission.

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