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Hospital's war on infection goes viral

Harrington seeks votes to turn video into grant

In this still from their YouTube video, Harrington staffers are disguised as drug-resistent infections. From left: VRE, C.diff and MRSA, as the film depicts the hospital’s infection-fighting measures. Residents may cast their ballots for the best disease prevention video with the winning facility receiving a $5,000 grant from 3M. (click for larger version)
October 06, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — YouTube has been used to promote music, television and funny video clips, but Harrington Memorial Hospital has taken a different tack with it.

As part of a contest, the hospital has created a three-minute YouTube video to educate the public on preventing the spread of several infectious diseases, according to Harrington's infection prevention director, Sue Valentine.

The video is part of 3M's "Innovation Award YouTube Video Contest" competition in which entrants produced similar videos on disease prevention. Voting to determine the finalists ends tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 8. A panel of 3M judges will evaluate whichever videos are voted as finalists. and the winner will be announced, Monday, Oct. 18, the beginning of International Infection Prevention Week, according to a 3M press release.

"The contest will identify innovative approaches to address a wide variety of challenges and also serve as an educational tool for those facilities in the fight against rising infection rates," said 3M's president and general manager of its Infection Prevention Division, Debra Rectenwald.

The hospital is hoping the video provides viewers with the tools to avoid several different viruses, including clostridium difficile, which has recently resurged in this country, according to Valentine. If the hospital is voted at least as one of the runners up, Harrington would receive a $1,000 grant to visit local health care facilities to spread the educational message, Valentine said. Should they win, they would receive $5,000 and an allexpenses-paid trip to tour 3M's Infection Prevention Division.

"We're trying to educate the public as to how serious this is," said Valentine, who helped produce the video with several other hospital staff.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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