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Successful collaborations

Clean Spaces, Healthy Patients Success Stories

Clean Spaces, Healthy Patients proudly shares successful collaborative projects through the eyes of the participants. These inspirational success stories provides a case studies to present to your healthcare administration building the business case for additional infection prevention and environmental services resources.

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achieved their success through the stories below.

[tab name=”Hunterdon Medical”]

Saving lives through integration and collaboration

The Hunterdon Medical Center Story

Photo credit: Hunterdon Medical Center

In July 2011, APIC and AHE launched Clean Spaces, Healthy Patients. The initiative represents both an evolution and a revolution in infection prevention. While for many years the field focused on “clean hands”, there is now growing recognition that preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) is about clean hands touching clean equipment in clean environments.

This three-pronged approach to HAI prevention requires IPs and EVS teams to work together.

“This is really the next important step in our field,” said Marita Nash, CHESP, a member of the Clean Spaces, Healthy Patients clinical advisory board.

A contagion battled by Hunterdon Medical Center, where Nash and her colleague Kathy Roye-Horn are employed as director of environmental services and director of infection prevention, respectively, illustrates the value of integrating infection prevention and EVS capabilities. In 2004, Hunterdon began to see patients with a new, mutated strain of Clostridium difficile (C. diff). The bug, known in the United States as the NAP1

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produces approximately 16 times more toxin than normal C. diff, making it notably more lethal. In addition, C. diff spores are difficult to destroy, requiring thorough cleaning and lots of elbow grease.

Roye-Horn and Nash worked together to change Hunterdon cleaning procedures, and developed new policies and signs for C. diff isolation. They conducted rounds together and instituted an objective auditing process. Most importantly, they worked to instill a sense of “cleanliness responsibility” in every Hunterdon employee.

Within three months of instituting the new procedures, the C. diff numbers at Hunterdon came back into normal range. “This experience really gave us confidence that, working together, we could stop an outbreak,” said Roye-Horn.

Photo credit: Hunterdon Medical Center

Clean Spaces, Healthy Patients Clincial Advisors make headlines

The collaborative infection prevention efforts of “Clean Spaces” Clinical Advisors Marita Nash, MBA, CHESP and Kathy Roye-Horn, RN, CIC of Hunterdon Medical Center, NJ, were featured in the Wall Street Journal’s “Informed Patient” column on Tuesday, June 5.Wall Street Journal columnist Laura Landro spent a day in early May with the Hunterdon team and observed their facility-wide programs which have successfully cut rates of infections caused by C. diff and other resistant pathogens. The Wall Street Journal article also described the Clean Spaces, Healthy Patients project, which was launched jointly by APIC and the Association for the Healthcare Environment in 2011.


[tab name=”NYU Langone Medical”]

The Clean Team

This inspirational success story provides a case study for how this facility successfully bridge the gap between infection prevention and environmental services. The most important component in the story was neither technology

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or innovation. The most pivotal component of all the successes for the project were the individual team members involved. Together their focus, drive, and collaboration, were ultimately the difference. No matter their job, their interest, or their specific task, their individual stories converge at one dramatic location- the patient room.



NYU Langone Medical Center is a 683 academic medical center in the center of Manhattan in New York City. They have 42,000 admissions per year and have multiple campuses. Through a collaborative with the greater New York Hospital Association they found that their C. difficile rate was higher than the average. Using creative education, innovative technology and uncommon teamwork, the Building Services and Infection Prevention team at NYU Langone recorded profound improvements in their C. diff rate.

Due to the success of the project, funding for the expansion of more permanent staffing occurred and the project has been expanded to another campus. The NYU Langone story is unique because it shows a strong partnership at the core between Building Services (EVS) and Infection Prevention. It also shows how these two departments were able to build a successful business case to sell the initial project ideas and receive funding and then subsequently get more funding after showing success of the project.


[tab name=”Rogue Valley Medical”]

Risk assessment leads to positive change for Infection Prevention and Environmental Services


Rogue Valley Medical Center is a 380 bed referral hospital for the greater Medford, Oregon area. Approximately five years ago, Infection Prevention and Nursing identified through an annual risk assessment that environmental cleaning was a high risk

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there was significant turn-over in the Environmental Services department and needs for education about the importance of a clean environment for a patient safety and infection prevention was needed. A grant was sought and won. Funds were granted, which began a catalyst for a strong alliance between Infection Prevention, Environmental Services and Nursing. Subsequently, several measures were taken, including:

  • Specific education and leadership development in environmental services
  • Implementation of microfiber use
  • Development of a cleaning validation program
  • Standardization of cleaning processes in Perioperative Services


[tab name=”Kaiser Permanente”]

Southern California Kaiser Permanente Story


Kaiser Permanente Panorama City Medical Hospital and Downey Medical Center are part of the Southern California Kaiser Permanente network which serves over 3 million people in Southern California. These two facilities were test sites for a new program that shed light on an unknown problem. Using new ulta violet (UV) Light technology to monitor cleaning, these two hospitals discovered that looks can be deceiving. The rooms looked clean, but the UV light showed that many of the high touch surfaces were not being properly cleaned. Thus began an educational collaboration for the Infection Prevention and Environmental Services departments at both facilities.


[tab name=”Not Just a Maid Service”]

Not Just a Maid Service

A short film highlighting the importance of

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Environmental Service Workers in preventing hospital-acquired infections.




Clean Spaces, Healthy Patients wants to hear from you

Does your facility have a story about a successful collaboration between infection prevention and environmental services? Clean Spaces, Healthy Patients would like to hear about it. Your story may be featured on the Clean Spaces, Healthy Patients website and in the monthly newsletter along with other successful collaborations.

Email buildingbridges@apic.org your story.