Healthcare-Associated Infection Mini-Summit

December 15, 2022

Event Description: 

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) present a serious concern for critical care professionals: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that one in every 31 hospital patients has at least one HAI each day. Healthcare-associated infections, like any infection, can cause sepsis. Healthcare-associated infection prevention measures are, therefore, also sepsis prevention measures.  

Proactive infection prevention measures and surveillance of traditional HAIs were exceedingly difficult during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result, HAIs rose as much as 47% in 2020. As we begin to move into a new phase of the pandemic, it is necessary that healthcare professionals refocus their attentions on key performance and outcome improvement opportunities across departments and specialties as they relate to HAIs. 

The 2022 Healthcare-Associated Infection Mini-Summit, presented by Sepsis Alliance, will offer a virtual 3.5-hour clinical program on several critical HAI-related topics and will provide attendees with updated clinical knowledge and recommendations for timely infection prevention and treatment. This half-day event aims to refocus clinical attention on the importance of HAI mitigation and to improve clinical outcomes for patients with HAIs and sepsis.


12:00 - 12:10 pm ET: Welcome & Opening Remarks

12:10 - 12:40 pm ET: Health Equity Considerations in Infection Prevention, Healthcare-Associated Infections, and Sepsis

In the United States, many factors continue to link socioeconomic status (SES) and race/ethnicity to health disparities: racism; poverty; differential access to resources that promote health; unequal access to quality healthcare and treatments; different rates and types of stressors; healthiness of one's residential and neighborhood environment; and the development of preventable chronic health conditions, among many others. During this session, the presenter will define health equity and its relationship to infection prevention, healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs), and sepsis. Learners will also review how COVID-19 has uncovered inequities in healthcare that contribute to HAIs, sepsis, and poor outcomes in medically under-resourced communities. Lastly, learners will review the roles and responsibilities of the interdisciplinary care team in equitable infection, HAI, and sepsis prevention, as well as strategies for improving health equity through culture change and augmented systems of care.

12:40 - 1:10 pm ET: The Gut Microbiota in Healthcare-Associated Infections: C. difficile and Beyond

The indigenous gut microbiota play a critical role in the pathogenesis of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), which can result in sepsis. While colonization resistance against C. difficile infection (CDI) is perhaps the most well-known example, increasing evidence indicates that many important HAIs are impacted by interactions with the indigenous microbiota. In this session,  learners will review the current body of evidence relating to CDI. The presenter will discuss the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and control of CDI and other HAIs, as well as interactions between pathogens, the host, and the indigenous microbiota.

1:10 - 1:40 pm ET: Dialysis and Kidney Transplant Safety to Prevent HAIs

Infections – including healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) – comprise the second leading cause of death for patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). These patients can also be at increased risk of developing sepsis from infection. Nephrologists Transforming Dialysis Safety (NTDS), a national collaboration between the American Society of Nephrology and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, aims to prevent infections and promote patient safety for patients with kidney failure. In this session, learners will review NTDS strategies for infection prevention in patients with ESKD, including the prevention of HAIs. Learners will also review findings related to sepsis in this patient population.  

1:40 - 1:50 pm ET: Break

1:50 - 2:20 pm ET: Urinary Catheter & Culture Stewardship in Infection and Sepsis Prevention

In this session, the speaker will use clinical cases to illustrate the clinical importance of and tools needed to implement both urinary catheter stewardship and urine culturing stewardship. Learners will review the importance of these stewardship approaches in reducing healthcare-associated infections and sepsis from a urinary tract source, reducing premature closure diagnostic errors, and preventing antimicrobial-associated complications. 

2:20 - 2:50 pm ET: Best Practice Anesthesia Infection Prevention Measures to Avoid HAIs

A recent article published in the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation newsletter found that evidence-based, basic infection control measures implemented effectively in the anesthesia work area can generate substantial reductions in pathogen transmission and the development of surgical site infections, which can cause sepsis. In this session, the authors of that article will discuss the link between pathogen reservoirs and surgical site infections and explore proven techniques for preventing HAIs and possible sepsis by breaking the lines of pathogen transmission. 

2:50 - 3:20 pm ET: Improving Patient-Provider Communication to Prevent HAIs in Hospitalized Patients

Hospitalized patients who are unable to effectively communicate – either because of trauma, illness, or a language barrier – are at higher risk of developing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Any kind of breakdown in patient-provider communication can negatively impact the patient, caregiver, and healthcare professional, often leading to frustration, stress, wasted time, and even missed diagnosis of infection. To address such barriers, it is essential for healthcare facilities to create safety cultures emphasizing clear communication and utilizing dynamic assessments. This session will offer communication solutions to these care barriers, which can help prevent HAIs and sepsis and improve patient outcomes and healthcare experiences across care settings.

3:20 - 3:30 pm ET: Closing Remarks

Target Audience

Nurses, advanced practice providers, physicians, emergency responders, pharmacists, medical technologists, respiratory therapists, physical/occupational therapists, infection prevention specialists, data/quality specialists, and more. 

Learning Objectives

At the end of this event, the attendee should be able to:

  • Describe the current landscape and burden of HAIs; 
  • Identify department- and specialty-specific opportunities to improve HAI prevention measures;  
  • Understand current clinical knowledge and best-practice recommendations for prevention and treatment of HAIs.

This activity is supported through an Independent Medical Education grant from Merck & Co., Inc.

Sepsis Alliance gratefully acknowledges the support provided for this event by Seres Therapeutics & Aimmune Therapeutics.

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 3.50 Participation
  • 4.20 RN CE Contact Hours
    Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP17068.
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
12/15/2022 - 9:00am PST
Event ends: 
12/15/2022 - 12:30pm PST

Full faculty list coming soon!

Moderator: Cindy Hou DO, MA, MBA, FACOI, FACP, FIDSA 

Infection Control Officer, Jefferson Health, New Jersey

Cindy Hou, DO, MA, MBA, CIC, CPHQ, FACOI, FACP, FIDSA, is the Infection Control Officer and Medical Director of Research for Jefferson Health - New Jersey (JNJ) and an infectious diseases specialist. She is dually board certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases. Dr. Hou has expertise in sepsis, antibiotic stewardship, and infection control. Dr. Hou is the Chief Medical Officer of  Sepsis Alliance and a member of its board of directors; she is also a medical advisor for the Sepsis Innovation Collaborative. Dr. Hou earned an M.B.A. and M.A. from Boston University, a D.O. from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, and a BS from Yale University. She has a certification in Infection Prevention and Control (CIC), is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ), and a Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS). Dr. Hou is a fellow for the American College of Osteopathic Internists (ACOI), American College of Physicians (ACP) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). 

Vincent B. Young, MD, PhD

William Henry Fitzbutler Collegiate Professor, Internal Medicine/Division of Infectious Diseases Professor, Microbiology & Immunology, University of Michigan

Vincent B. Young, MD, PhD, was born in Buffalo, New York and graduated from Williamsville East High School. He received his undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1985 and received his MD and his PhD in microbiology and immunology from Stanford University in 1992. Dr. Young completed his clinical training in internal medicine and infectious diseases at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He was previously on the faculty at Michigan State University prior to joining the University of Michigan in 2007. 
Outside of the lab, Vince enjoys hiking and cycling, having completed his first DALMAC ride in 2021. He is also an amateur musician, playing keyboards in local band Naked Ace and also dabbling in jazz with other local musicians. 

Leslie P. Wong MD, MBA, FACP, FASN

Senior Medical Director of Kidney Services and Nephrology; Chief Kidney Health Officer, Intermountain Healthcare

Leslie Wong, MD, MBA, FACP, FASN, is Intermountain Healthcare's Senior Medical Director of Kidney Services and Nephrology and Chief Kidney Health Officer. In this capacity, Dr. Wong leads Intermountain’s efforts to deliver nationally-recognized, valued-based care, with an emphasis on reducing the incidence of kidney failure and improving the kidney health of communities across the Mountain west region of the United States. Dr. Wong comes to Intermountain from dual roles as Chief Medical Officer of Nephrology Care Alliance, a division of DaVita Inc., and Associate Medical Director of Cleveland Clinic's Medicare Accountable Care Organization. He is a seasoned nephrologist who has served as Cleveland Clinic's Vice-Chairman of Nephrology and Hypertension with an emphasis on clinical transformation, as the Director of the Center for Dialysis, and as an associate professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Wong is a graduate of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He completed his residency and fellowship training at the University of North Carolina, where he was Chief Resident. He started his career in Seattle, where he was Medical Director of Peritoneal Dialysis at Northwest Kidney Centers,. Following this work, he became Satellite Healthcare's Vice President of Clinical Affairs, leading quality and medical director education at that institution, and he served on the faculty at Stanford University. Professionally, he is a nationally recognized nephrology educator and speaker. He is a past member of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) Dialysis Advisory Group and Chair of Quality, Assessment, Improvement, and Education for Nephrologists Transforming Dialysis Safety (NTDS). Dr. Wong currently participates in the ASN Diabetic Kidney Collaborative and serves on the Excellence in Patient Care (EPC) Committee, helping to guide ASN’s clinical initiatives.

Jennifer A Meddings, MD MsC, FACP, FAAP

Associate Professor, Internal Medicine; Associate Professor, Pediatrics & Communicable Diseases, University of Michigan

Jennifer Meddings, MD, MsC, FACP, FAAP, cares for adults and children in her primary care practice at the East Ann Arbor Internal Medicine and Pediatrics clinic. Her clinical focus is the improvement of care for patients with chronic illness such as diabetes mellitus, heart failure, and compromised immune systems related to transplant medications. She has also published widely and lectured nationally on  the prevention of complications related to hospital stays and chronic illness, including urinary catheter-related complications and skin issues related to immobility.  

Dr. Meddings’s research interests include implementation of interventions to prevent complications acquired in the acute-care hospital and long-term care settings, and evaluation of the impact of quality improvement programs such as pay-for-performance, value-based purchasing, and public-reporting initiatives for patients with complex chronic illness. 

Randy Loftus, MD

Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, University of Iowa 

Randy Loftus, MD, is an associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine. Dr. Loftus has received national and international recognition for his expertise regarding the epidemiology of intraoperative bacterial transmission. In the last 10 years he has made great contributions to science as is reflected in a solid body of published evidence. 



Jonathan E. Charnin, MD

Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, Mayo Clinic

Jonathan E. Charnin, MD, is an assistant professor of anesthesiology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He is an anesthesiologist and intensivist who maintains a professional interest in patient care optimization. He has always believed that understanding the details of patient care is an important step in making the right decisions for each patient. He maintains a strong interest in teaching, as education is a cornerstone of patient care optimization. Dr. Charnin has presented both nationally and internationally and has published many peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed articles, while also contributing to a number of book chapters focused on anesthesiology and critical care throughout his career. 

Richard Hurtig, PhD, FASHA

Professor Emeritus in the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, University of Iowa

Richard Hurtig, Ph.D., FASHA, is a professor emeritus in the department of Communication Sciences & Disorders at The University of Iowa, where he led an interdisciplinary team in the development of assistive technologies to facilitate patient-provider communication for use with adult and pediatric patients. That research led to the development of the patented noddle® smart switch that enables patients who may only be able to produce a small intentional gesture to summon their caregiver and to also control the noddle-chat communication tool to support patient-provider communication. He expanded noddle-chat to allow patients to participate in medical decision making and to also support the needs of patients with limited English proficiency. He served on the Patient-Provider Communication Network task force that developed and disseminated communication tools for use in COVID-19 ICUs. He has presented at conferences and has published a textbook, several chapters, and numerous papers on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) in acute care.

Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP17068 for 4.2 contact hours.

Other healthcare providers will receive a certificate of attendance for 3.5 contact hours.

Medical Disclaimer

The information on or available through this site is intended for educational purposes only. Sepsis Alliance does not represent or guarantee that information on or available through this site is applicable to any specific patient’s care or treatment. The educational content on or available through this site does not constitute medical advice from a physician and is not to be used as a substitute for treatment or advice from a practicing physician or other healthcare provider. Sepsis Alliance recommends users consult their physician or healthcare provider regarding any questions about whether the information on or available through this site might apply to their individual treatment or care.

Available Credit

  • 3.50 Participation
  • 4.20 RN CE Contact Hours
    Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP17068.
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