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Department of Clinical Epidemiology


Department of Clinical Epidemiology
 

The OSU Wexner Medical Center’s Department of Clinical Epidemiology is primarily located in University Hospitals with an additional site at the University Hospitals East. The program provides services for the 931-beds teaching hospitals with 150 additional satellite primary care clinics, entailing 250,000 annual visits throughout Columbus.

The activities are primarily directed at:  

• Education
• Surveillance
• Clinical research for prevention of all healthcare associated infections such as device related infections, surgical site infections and central line infections and Clostridium difficile and MDROs   

The program consists of the:

• Medical Director
• Associate Medical Director
• Infection Prevention manager and five Infection Preventionists Practitioners (IP)
• Data manager
• One part-time students for clerical support

In 2001, the Department of Clinical Epidemiology established a web site. This site is used by clinicians, nursing and ancillary support services to get up to date information.
The site features:

• Infection control policies
• Isolation guidelines
• Blood and body fluid exposure algorithm
• Bioterrorism resources
• Many external links

Collaboration with Pharmacy

The Division of Infectious Diseases has maintained a longstanding collaborative program with the OSU Department of Pharmacy regarding monitoring of antimicrobial utilization and links to antimicrobial resistance.

Clinical pharmacist infectious diseases specialists and pharmacy residents interact regularly with consult services and the Department of Clinical Epidemiology.

A Master's Degree Program in the OSU College of Public Health is open to fellows who want formal training in epidemiology and biostatistics.
 

Collaboration with Environmental Services

The Clinical Epidemiology staff work very closely with the environmental services staff to optimize room cleaning and surface decontamination. They have assisted in trials of new products and technologies to mitigate risk of cross transmission of pathogens.

Role of the Clinical Epidemiology Staff

The IPs and Medical Director are available for:

• Consultation on exposures to communicable diseases, BBFE
• Isolation practices
• Potential outbreak investigations
• Appropriate personal protective equipment

They provide orientation for all new employees on a bi-weekly basis and more informal educational forums for current initiatives. They have established a Link Nurse Program with representatives from most patient care units; after a 16 hr training program and montly topical meetings. The Medical Director provides orientation to all new housestaff, new attendings each month, and first and third year medical students annually.

Member National Health Safety Network

The OSUWMC contributes infection surveillance data to the National Health Safety Network. . Improving patient safety consists of an active surveillance program for:

• High-risk
• High-morbidity selected surgical procedures
• Newer surgical procedures to assess unanticipated risks
• Catheter related blood-stream infections in the Intensive Care Units
• Ventilator associated pneumonias
• Catheter associated urinary tract infections

Surveillance findings are incorporated into development of performance improvement programs to improve patient outcomes. In addition, the IPs submit quarterly pathogen prevalence reports to the ICUs, track and abrogate any potential negative trends based on ICU surveillance data.

We have a close working relationship with the Ohio Department of Health, where laboratory specimens can be studied by pulse-field gel electrophoresis, if necessary.

We work with the Department of Pharmacy to encourage appropriate antibiotic choices for selected clinical diagnoses and to decrease the risk of developing C. difficile.

Meetings

The IPs, the Medical Director and Associate Medical Director participate in monthly multi-disciplinary meetings such as:

• Infection Control Committee
• Patient Safety and Quality
• Construction (to monitor, intervene to reduce risks within and around the facilities)
• Department Specific Quality Committees (cardiothoracic, orthopedics, neurosurgery)
• Leadership Council where presentations on recent initiatives are shared

Product Evaluation

The Department of Clinical Epidemiology is also represented on the Product Evaluation Committee to assist in choosing optimal cost-effective items; for example:

• Safety-phlebotomy devices
• Central venous catheter kit components etc
• To protect patients, visitors and staff from acquiring healthcare associated infections

Clean hands save lives!

For more information, contact:

Julie E. Mangino, MD
Medical Director Department of Clinical Epidemiology
Professor of Internal Medicine

Division of Infectious Diseases
N 1150 Doan Hall
410 W. 10th Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43210
Phone: (614) 293-5666
Fax: (614) 293-4556