Healthcare-Associated Infection Prevention Program at WhidbeyHealth Continues to Surpass Milestones


The Whidbey Island Public Hospital District (WhidbeyHealth) celebrated its continued excellence regarding infection prevention protocols and best practices this week. Infection Preventionist and program lead, Colleen Klamm, BSN, RN, CIC, reported that WhidbeyHealth continues to provide top of class, safe and quality care across the continuum of health care available on Whidbey Island. For more than a year WhidbeyHealth has been free of any surgical site infections and has had a zero percent (0%) infection rate for device associated infections in some areas for nearly 15 years.

A healthcare-associated infection (HAI) is an infection that develops during or soon after receiving healthcare services or staying in a healthcare setting. Infections are a serious problem and many are preventable. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) cites that on any given day, about one in twenty-five hospital patients has at least one HAI. Today, WhidbeyHealth’s Infection Preventionist, Klamm, celebrated:

  • ZERO surgical site infections since May 2022 (inpatient and outpatient procedures)
  • ZERO urinary catheter infections since 2019
  • ZERO ventilator infections since 2015
  • ZERO central line infections since 2009

“The tremendous success of our Infection Prevention program is an important factor in the quality of care our community can expect to receive at WhidbeyHealth,” commented Shanna Harney-Bates, Executive Director of Quality. “These results paint a picture of what our community can expect from WhidbeyHealth – safe, quality care.”

“Sustaining a zero healthcare-associated infection rate and like-minded practice culture takes many people coming together, working towards a common goal,” reflected Klamm. “Beyond the Surgeons, it takes coordinated efforts from Environmental Services, Sterile Processing, Registered Nurses, Technicians, and our Anesthesia Team to create an infection-free environment. All should be celebrated for their dedication to delivering safe and quality care to our community.”