Dr. Nasia Safdar highlighted by Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Dr. Nasia Safdar in her laboratory
Dr. Nasia Safdar

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which is the lead federal agency charged with improving the safety and quality of America's health care system, profiled the work of Nasia Safdar, MD, PhD, associate professor, Infectious Disease and vice chair for research. 

Studies led by Dr. Safdar that are funded by AHRQ focus on reducing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and identifying strategies to prevent their recurrence. 

For example, using a systems engineering framework, Dr. Safdar and colleagues conducted an AHRQ-funded study to identify factors that affect health care workers’ use of prevention activities, known as bundles, to combat Clostridium difficile (C diff) infections. This common and serious gut infection affects half a million people in the United States per year and causes about 20,000 deaths annually. 

An additional AHRQ-funded pilot project is allowing Dr. Safdar's team to  determine if using a fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) at the same time as antibiotics can restore health to patients who have recurrent C diff. 

In addition to her research work, Dr. Safdar led the UW Health adoption of the Comprehensive Unit-Based Safety Program, or CUSP.  The program is an evidence-based method that uses a structured framework for safety improvement. 

"CUSP provided a systematic approach for all of our efforts, which led to much more favorable outcomes," she said.  

In recognition of these initiatives, UW Hospital and Clinics (now known as UW Health) received the 2013 Partnership in Prevention award from the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control, and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.