Florida ASC Executive Wins APIC's Healthcare Administrator Award

David G. Daniel, FACHE, FAAMA, the chief executive officer of the Lakeland Surgical & Diagnostic Center (LSDC) in Lakeland, Fla., has been named the recipient of the second annual Healthcare Administrator Award, presented by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). Daniel received the award at a Washington news conference kicking off International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW) for supporting programs that have virtually eliminated healthcare-associated infections at his facility.

The APIC Healthcare Administrator Award is given to a member of a healthcare facilitys executive team who has made infection prevention and control a top priority throughout the facility. This is the first year the award has been presented to an executive of an ambulatory surgical center.

Daniel, a retired member of the U.S. Navy Medical Service Corps, led an effort that resulted in a four-fold reduction in already-low surgical site infections at LSDC.

"We are happy to present Dave with this award," says APIC 2010 president Cathryn Murphy, RN, PhD, CIC. "He is being recognized not only for his commitment to patient safety, but also for serving as a role model for other healthcare executives. APIC continues to call upon healthcare leaders around the world within all types of facilities to make infection prevention a greater priority."

While LSDC never had a high surgical site infection rate, Daniel made targeting zero infections a primary issue in 2006 and has seen infection rates decline every year since. He appointed infection control executives at both of LSDCs two facilities, formed a system-wide infection control plan and approved funding for extensive infection prevention staff training. To stay informed about evidence-based best practices, staff members were supported to attend APIC courses, including its EPI courses, as well as meetings and courses offered by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) and the Society of Gastroenterology Nursing.

"Infection prevention should be the responsibility of every healthcare CEO because it is the right thing to do," says Daniel. "It is our job as executives to lead by example and change the culture of the organization. The ultimate target of zero infections for our 19,000 patients at Lakeland is now an attainable goal. We have set the bar high, and we feel very good about what we have accomplished."

Karen Morrow, a victim of the massive 2008 Las Vegas hepatitis C outbreak, lauded Daniel for his achievement during the news conference. Morrow contracted the virus while undergoing a colonoscopy at an outpatient center that reused syringes and single dose vials of anesthetic. She underwent 54 weeks of costly treatment and lost her job of 16 years due to the severity of the side effects of the treatment.

Each year, more than 1.7 million U.S. patients develop an infection while they are in a healthcare facility, and nearly 100,000 people die as a result. IIPW aims to raise awareness about infection prevention and commemorates the work of healthcare professionals and administrators, legislators, and consumers for their commitment to reducing infection worldwide.

During the week of IIPW, APIC will offer a series of free webinars for health professionals on current infection prevention topics. APICs 2010 International Infection Prevention Week program is made possible with support from 3M Health Care through an unrestricted educational grant.

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