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The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) has announced Jason Lempp, MPH, CIC, as the winner of the third annual EPI Project Competition. Lempp was honored with the early investigator award for his project looking to determine if the Washington State Validation Protocol for central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) can be a scalable, sustainable model for tracking and ensuring quality national data on healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The EPI Project was created to encourage future leaders in the field to shape the understanding of transmission, prevention methods and implementation issues in infection prevention and control.
“As we push toward increasing transparency in tracking the progress of HAI prevention, this project will help us better understand how state surveillance models should work,” says Sarah Haessler, MD, SHEA Spring 2014 Conference planning chair. “Through this award, SHEA strives to set the agenda for future healthcare epidemiology research and is dedicated to advancing the skills and contributions of young investigators in this field.”
The SHEA EPI Project is a competition designed to identify important research proposals from young investigators. Lempp will receive a $20,000 grant award from the SHEA Research and Education Foundation for his project.
Lempp and his colleagues will look to determine if the Washington State Validation Protocol for CLABSIs is effective in assuring the accuracy of reported rates of infections to national tracking systems like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Health Safety Network. In doing so, the protocol will help identify substandard reporting by hospitals and health systems and ensure quality HAI surveillance nationwide.
The study will draw upon the SHEA Research Network, a consortium of more than 200 hospitals collaborating on multi-center research projects, to examine if the protocol replicates the successes seen in the state of Washington.
“Currently, there is no widely adopted national protocol ensuring the validity of HAI reporting,” says Lempp. “Acceptance sampling validation methods may help state and regional health officials who are struggling to find a sustainable approach. We hope to evaluate a model that others could use to move the needle forward on infection prevention.”
The award was presented to Lempp at SHEA’s 2014 Spring Conference held last week in Denver.