PDI Perspective

Get perspective on infection prevention from PDI's experts.

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Joan Hebden, RN, MS, CIC, FAPIC

Joan received her baccalaureate and master’s degrees from the University of Maryland School of Nursing. She is currently an independent infection prevention consultant and research coordinator. She served as the Director of Infection Prevention and Control for 28 years at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland. An accomplished practitioner, Ms. Hebden has presented at national epidemiology conferences, participated in research regarding the transmission of multi-drug resistant bacteria, contributed chapters on infection control to nursing resource texts, and published in medical and infection control journals. She is certified in infection control through the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, is an active member of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiologists of America and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and serves as a section editor and reviewer for the American Journal of Infection Control.

Recent Posts

Infection Prevention in Long-Term Care Facilities

Posted by Joan Hebden, RN, MS, CIC, FAPIC on Nov 13, 2019 12:23:19 PM

Infection Prevention in Long-Term Care Facilities: A Significant Cultural Transformation is Underway

Each year, more than 4 million U.S. patients are admitted to or reside in long-term care (LTC) facilities with an estimated 1-3 million acquiring serious infections and approximately 380,000 of those infections resulting in death.1 The common infection types include urinary tract, diarrheal diseases, bacterial and viral respiratory tract and infections due to multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO) such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile) and Candida auris (C. auris), an emerging fungal pathogen. These infections are associated with readmission to acute care hospitals and cost billions in additional health care costs per year. The frequency of inter-facility transfers, high acuity and use of invasive devices (e.g. urinary catheters and central venous catheters), as well as the overutilization of antibiotics has resulted in an extremely high MDRO prevalence in this population.

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The Prevalence of Healthcare-Associated Infections in U.S. Hospitals in 2015: Defining Progress and Attention to the Future

Posted by Joan Hebden, RN, MS, CIC, FAPIC on Nov 26, 2018 9:38:00 AM

The Prevalence of Healthcare-Associated Infections in U.S. Hospitals in 2015: Defining Progress and Attention to the Future

Point prevalence surveys of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) provide for a national snapshot of this critical patient safety concern and complement the location- or infection-specific data that infection preventionists report to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). Utilizing 10 sites in the CDC Emerging Infections Program (EIP) which represents the major geographic sections of the U.S., an initial prevalence survey was conducted in 2011 of 11,282 patients in 183 hospitals and found that 4% of hospitalized patients had an HAI. 

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The Nose Knows

Posted by Joan Hebden, RN, MS, CIC, FAPIC on May 27, 2018 10:05:00 AM

Addressing Surgical Site Infection Prevention & Antibiotic Stewardship Through Povidone-Iodine Antiseptic Nasal Decolonization

Decolonization is an evidence-based patient safety practice with the goal of lowering the microbial bio-burden on patient body sites to reduce the risk of infection from endogenous colonization during surgery. 

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Target Goals for the Reduction of Healthcare-Associated Infections

Posted by Joan Hebden, RN, MS, CIC, FAPIC on Feb 1, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Target Goals for the Reduction of Healthcare-Associated Infections: Ambitious But Achievable 

In October 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced new targets using data from calendar year 2015 as a new reference point for the national acute care hospital metrics for the National Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs). 

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Prevention of Intraluminal Contamination of Intravascular Catheters

Posted by Joan Hebden, RN, MS, CIC, FAPIC on Sep 22, 2017 2:00:00 PM

Despite a 46% reduction in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) in US healthcare facilities from 2008-2013, an estimated 30,000 infections continue to occur annually among hospitalized patients.1 A common mode of pathogenesis for these infections is needleless connector contamination with microorganisms from the patient’s skin and/or the hands of healthcare workers (HCWers). Inadequate disinfection of these connectors, which are accessed multiple times by HCWers in the provision of patient care, can result in intraluminal colonization of the catheter and subsequent bloodstream infection (BSI).

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Quaternary Ammonium Disinfectants: Lost in Translation?

Posted by Joan Hebden, RN, MS, CIC, FAPIC on Jun 29, 2017 4:43:00 PM


There has been a plethora of scientific literature demonstrating that healthcare-associated pathogens, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) and Clostridium difficile, frequently contaminate both porous and non-porous surfaces in the healthcare environment.  This microbial burden on environmental surfaces serves as a reservoir for direct transmission of pathogens to the patient or as an indirect mode of transmission through contaminated reusable patient care equipment and/or healthcare workers’ hands and gloves. Along with hand hygiene and the implementation of best practices to prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs), environmental cleaning is a fundamental component of a comprehensive infection prevention program.

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Chlorhexidine Gluconate for the Prevention of Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections - Current Science

Posted by Joan Hebden, RN, MS, CIC, FAPIC on Jan 4, 2017 11:28:00 AM

Chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) is an antibacterial antiseptic with the ability to inhibit and kill bacteria associated with healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).  In the last two decades, investigators have researched the use of CHG for hand hygiene, oral hygiene, pre-operative bathing, insertion and maintenance of central venous catheters (CVCs), and daily bathing of patients with CVCs. The rapid antimicrobial activity of CHG, in addition to the persistent and residual antibacterial effect for up to six hours on the skin, has led to recommendations for its use as a healthcare provider hand soap, showering/bathing agent prior to surgery, skin preparation agent for drawing blood cultures and for preparing the skin prior to the insertion of intravascular lines.

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