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VNA Commits to Improving Infection Rates in Omaha Metro

October 3, 2018 | VNA Staff | News coverage

Infections in the home care setting are not uncommon, yet there are few tools and resources specifically designed for the home health professional. To address this need, the Home Health Infection Prevention and Control Initiative was established.

For the past two years, Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) was part of this pilot initiative to identify and develop infection prevention tools and resources for home health agencies. VNA was one of 28 home health agencies, throughout the Great Plains Quality Innovation Network (GPQIN) region, selected to participate. Selected agencies are located in Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The initiative, led by the Great Plains QIN and including VNA as a partner, developed a Home Health Infection Prevention Toolkit, which contains tools, resources and best practices to help reduce Acute Care Hospitalization (ACH) or Emergency Department (ED) visits related to wound, urinary tract and respiratory infections.

“It was our honor to participate in this important project,” said Kim Garcia, QAPI RN at VNA. “As we participated in the project, our greatest opportunity was to reduce hospitalizations due to urinary tract infections in our intermittent home care populations, and we greatly exceeded results for state and combined members in the GPQIN group.”

The Toolkit contains many tools and resources for immunizations, antibiotic stewardship, patient and family education, risk assessment and surveillance, sepsis and more. The primary audience is home health agencies, but includes tools for patients, family members, caregivers, and agency leaders in other healthcare settings. Home Health Agencies are encouraged to access the toolkit and share with colleagues, team members and other healthcare organizations in the community. The Toolkit will continue to be updated with new resources as they are identified.

“Thank you to VNA for their commitment of time and expertise as we developed the Home Health Infection Prevention Toolkit. We knew there was a gap in infection prevention tools for home health agencies. We believed, through the creation of this toolkit, we could assist home health agencies in attaining their infection prevention goals. The response has validated our efforts. We launched the toolkit in early April 2018; the site has been viewed nearly 6,000 times. The feedback on credibility of the tools and ease of use has been very favorable,” stated Paula Sitzman, RN, BSN; Great Plains QIN Regional Task Co-Lead for the Initiative.

Access the Toolkit at

The Great Plains Quality Innovation Network is one of 14 Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) working with providers, stakeholders and Medicare consumers to improve the quality of healthcare for targeted health conditions. We work to improve care throughout Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.


About Visiting Nurse Association

After more than a century, Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) continues to provide valued expertise, comforting perspective, innovative leadership and industry-leading solutions around the health issues of the day in the communities we serve. Our team of more than 400 compassionate healthcare professionals is dedicated to shaping tomorrow’s care, today, by providing the highest quality care to individuals at home and across the community – no matter their age, station in life or available resources. To learn more about VNA’s unique commitment to fostering a healthy, thriving community, and the services available to meet each client’s ever-changing needs, visit or call 402-342-5566.


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