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Monday 11:53 CST, April 23, 2018

Cedars-Sinai - CEO Statement


Thomas M. PriselacPriselac
President and CEO
Cedars-Sinai Health System
Los Angeles, California



The infection rate at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles is already low by national standards, but the hospital’s slogan At Cedars-Sinai, Zero is the Greatest Number, demonstrates its commitment to reducing the rate of hospital-acquired infections to zero and keeping it there.

Cedars-Sinai has created an open atmosphere in which employees feel comfortable reminding each other to wash their hands. Patients and visitors are encouraged to speak up if they see any lapses in hand hygiene among healthcare professionals. And everyone who enters the medical center is encouraged to use the new custom-designed kiosks dispensing Purell, masks and tissues. Innovative 7-ft tall signs inside hospital elevator doors urge everyone to protect patients’ health by cleaning their hands.

The medical center understands that in order to achieve "Zero," its focus must go beyond the handwashing program. Five task forces comprising staff from many different departments and disciplines have been assigned to carry out a "no-stone-unturned" search for opportunities to enhance infection-control measures. No ideas – submitted by anyone – are deemed too small or too unusual to consider.

The medical center’s leadership is committed to the Zero is the Greatest Number campaign, continually exploring the behaviors, reasons and beliefs that prevent people from doing all they can to prevent the spread of infection.

Cedars-Sinai has achieved admirable hand hygiene results. However, sustaining the highest level of performance is a challenge all hospitals face. The main hindrance is the currently available measurement systems: the dedicated observer method does not allow for the collection of comprehensive and actionable information that is key to changing handwashing behavior over the long term.

The Center for Transforming Healthcare has already assisted in the acceleration of new technology monitoring alternatives and is collaborating with Cedars-Sinai as it researches electronic compliance tracking. The options for all hospitals focused on resolving the hand hygiene issue will expand as the center moves forward in its effort to transform healthcare in this – and other – arenas.