Home » Healthcare Issues » Healthcare Quality & Safety » Healthcare Acquired Infections

Cambridge Health Alliance Awarded Grant to
Combat Surgical Site Infections

April 12, 2012


David Cecere, 617-591-4011

Cambridge, MA –  An estimated 1.7 million patients are affected by hospital acquired infections in U.S. hospitals each year, causing nearly 90,000 deaths and costing facilities an estimated $25 billion, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Many of these problems can be prevented.

Medline Industries, Inc. recently presented integrated healthcare system Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) with a Prevention Above All Discovery Grant, one of 10 awarded to institutions across the country. The grant provides funding for research designed to develop and test innovative methodologies and clinical interventions for reducing or preventing healthcare-acquired harms. 

CHA will launch a six-month pilot study focused on developing a standardized thorough body cleansing to reduce prosthetic joint infections at CHA's Cambridge Hospital campus. The researchers will explore the efficacy of using 2% chlorhexidine wipes the morning of surgery for a group of 80 patients anticipated to be evaluated during this pilot period.

"We are confident this study will enable us to improve the care of patients undergoing elective joint replacement surgery," said Lou Ann Bruno-Murtha, DO, a principal investigator and the medical director of CHA's infectious disease program. "Additionally, as CHA transitions into an accountable care organization with a patient-centered medical home model of care, it gives us a valuable opportunity to study cost-effective strategies to reduce surgical site infections and their associated morbidity and costs."

Now in its third year, Medline has provided more than $1.6 million in grant funding through its Prevention Above All Discovery Grants Program to front-line healthcare workers researching evidence-based solutions and interventions that CMS has declared as preventable, including pressure ulcer prevention, catheter associated urinary tract infection, ventilator associated pneumonia, and others. The studies selected for the 2011 grant cycle promote the gathering of clinical evidence and support implementation of targeted solutions in healthcare including research aimed at CAUTI prevention, fall reduction and improved care for ventilated patients.

"Medline's investment in prevention interventions has been instrumental in helping accelerate progress toward the elimination of HAIs," said Sue MacInnes, chief marketing officer for Medline. "We applaud the innovation, research, collaboration and dedication among health care professionals to invest their time in improving patient care."

As the nation's largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of healthcare products, Medline manufactures and distributes more than 125,000 products to hospitals, extended care facilities, surgery centers, physician offices, and home care dealers. More information about the grant program can be found at www.medline.com/media-room/press-releases/2012/03/medline-awards-500000-to-fund-10-new-grants.

Cambridge Health Alliance is an integrated, award-winning health system that provides high quality care in Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston's metro-north communities. It includes three hospital campuses, a network of primary care and specialty practices, and the Cambridge Public Health Dept. CHA is a Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate and is also affiliated with Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and Tufts University School of Medicine. Visit us online at www.challiance.org.