Meeting the Challenge: Riverside County Reduces SSI, Increases Patient Safety

When Riverside County Medical Center staff compared its rate of surgical site infections (SSI) to other hospitals around the country, they realized they had an issue. The hospital’s ratio of infections was more than 200 percent above the recognized baseline. Something had to be done; something was done. And the result has been an amazing turnaround for the Medical Center that has resulted in improved patient care, heightened patient safety and a reduction in medical care costs.

To combat this high infection rate, the hospital formed a team consisting of surgeons, anesthesiologists, OR nurses, infection preventionists, housekeeping personnel and researchers. The team developed protocol for staff and education plan for patients to follow. Beyond following new protocols, staff found themselves participating in a cultural change. Continue reading

Meeting the Challenge: Stanislaus County’s Clean and Sober Living Program

The program is designed to let mothers who are going through alcohol and substance abuse treatment live with their children in a safe and supportive environment. Keeping these families together is usually far better for the children, and the prospect of keeping their kids often provides moms with the extra incentive they need to complete the program successfully. It saves money for the County because the alternative is often foster care for the kids and incarceration for the moms.

Clean and Sober living was originally run by a faith-based non-profit organization and funded partially by Stanislaus County. The local dollars allowed the program to get federal grants that made up most of its budget. But in 2008, 2009 and 2010 the recession forced Stanislaus County, and many other local governments, to make some difficult decisions. They had to cut sheriff’s deputies, firefighters and other necessities, and eventually, they had to eliminate funding for Clean and Sober Living too. Continue reading

Meeting the Challenge: San Bernardino County’s West Nile Virus Aerial Surveillance Collaboration

Most of us have swatted away marauding mosquitos, attacking from the sky—well now the mosquitos have to watch out for the air power too. In San Bernardino County, the Mosquito Vector Control Program is collaborating with the County’s Sheriff’s Aviation Division, and using state-of-the-art technology to identify potential mosquito breeding sites: unmaintained swimming pools.

In 2012, West Nile Virus – transmitted by mosquitos – was being reported at record levels. Dozens of cases occurred in San Bernardino County, where concerns were elevated over the fact that more than 18,000 homes in the County had been foreclosed. Many of these residences included unmaintained swimming pools, ideal breeding grounds for mosquitos. Unfortunately, the County’s Mosquito Vector Control staff was only made aware of potential s breeding site when they received a complaint. This limited abatement since staff had few ways to find green pools on their own since most aren’t visible from the street. Continue reading

Meeting the Challenge: Sacramento County’s SacVote Mobile Application

I admit, there are times when I wish it was a little simpler to use my smart phone to just make a phone call. But for every time I struggle to find my way back to the keyboard, there are at least five times when I am thankful for this app, or that function that makes my life easier. What was the name of that restaurant again? Is it on 9th or 10th street? Where is the nearest gas station? Smart phones are supposed to make our lives easier with that type of information at our fingertips, and now thanks to the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters, your smart phone can even make it easier for you to participate as a voter! Continue reading

Meeting the Challenge: Riverside County’s Prevention and Early Intervention Mobile Services

Clinical therapists are taking their jobs a few steps above and beyond the typical call of duty in Riverside County. In fact, they are taking them 39 feet beyond. That’s the length of each of the three mobile clinics that the therapists themselves drive out to different regions of Riverside County. It’s all part of the County’s highly successful Prevention and Early Intervention Mobile Services program.

These mobile clinics, which are specially designed recreational vehicles, bring mental health services to families with children up to 7 years old. The program meets a need to develop services outside the standard clinic model, according to Emma Girard, Senior Clinical Psychologist for Riverside County, who helps lead the project. Continue reading