Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin’s 5th and 6th Floors Earn Zero Hero Award

By Annie Steinhauser, BSN, RN

6 South Neurology

In September of 2018, two of the acute care units at Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin (SMCA) won the exciting new “Zero Hero” award for excelling in the battle against hospital-acquired infections. The 5th floor medical-surgical unit won for an entire year with zero Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI), while the 6 South Neurology floor won for an entire year with zero Central Line-associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSI).

The Zero Hero award was presented to these two units on September 20, 2018 by SMCA leadership, including Chief Nursing Officer, Donna Beecroft, MSN, RN, NE-BC, Chief Medical Officer, Amy Papst, MD, Chief Operating Officer, Tad Hatton MBA and Director of Quality, Shannon Kane-Reinhardt, BSN, RN, MHA, CPHQ.

5th Floor Medical Surgical

The Quality Department implemented the Zero Hero Award in 2018 to recognize departments that achieve exceptional milestones in fighting hospital-acquired infections. To determine winners, the department analyzes hospital data to see what is going well and which units have achieved the most extraordinary stretch in preventing hospital-acquired infections.  Leadership at SMCA determine the award winners and make a surprise announcement on the unit and present the award to the nursing team.

How did they do it?

The nurses and clinical assistants on the fast-paced and high-demand 5th floor med-surg unit attribute their success in achieving zero CAUTIs to two main things: teamwork and dedication to the patient. Here are some of the specific tasks implemented:

  • The unit implemented CHG daily baths for all patients with a Foley catheter. Clinical assistants collaborate with nurses to ensure that this important task is completed each day.
  • Nurse leaders, including managers Dierdre Martin-Ross, MSN, RN and Geryl Hill, BSN, RN round on all patients with lines to ensure all components of the CAUTI-prevention protocol are being met.
  • In order to prevent dependent loops on Foleys, the nurse educator, Jorge Garza, BSN, RN, CMSRN, created a job aid on best-practices for securing catheters.
  • Hayley G. BNS, RN is the unit champion for hand hygiene and has promoted a culture of accountability.
  • The education department assisted by organizing a booth on catheter insertion at the quarterly education fair.
“It was such a pleasant surprise! To have SMCA senior leadership on the unit all at once to present the award lifted everyone’s spirits that day. It’s nice to be recognized for hard work.” Jorge Garza, Nurse Educator, 5th floor, med-surg unit.

On 6 South Neurology, Manager Julie Zessin, MSN, RN credited the standardization of Sunday/Wednesday line care days for helping the unit achieve zero CLASBIs for an entire year.  Some of the other best practices that were implemented on the unit include to achieve first-rate patient outcomes include:

  • Supervisor Cindy Dennis, MSN, RN, CNS, conducts nurse leader rounding on every patient with a central line to ensure the CLABSI-prevention bundle is in place and dressings are intact.
  • CLABSI champion, Renee Rougeau, RN, keeps the unit on track with best practice and good habits. Hand hygiene and no gloves in the hall has been enculturated on the unit.
  • Nurses and leadership collaborate with the interprofessional team during multidisciplinary rounds to assess daily if each central line in place is still necessary and advocate to remove at risk lines.
  • The education fair organized a station on scrubbing the hub, the CHG gel dressings and a booth on proper blood culturing that received great reviews.