As a group, nurses work tirelessly in both clinical and administrative capacities. A subset of that group is a truly extraordinary category of nursing professionals who demonstrate a determination and passion that drives them to continuously improve the way that patient care is delivered. Melissa Bronstein, a nurse with Rochester Regional Health System, is such a professional.
Bronstein, 54, demonstrates exemplary leadership by developing innovative programs to solve vexing patient-care problems. She is an infection preventionist, a nurse with special training and expertise in preventing and controlling transmission of infection to patients, visitors, and staff members. She helps to create a safer world by using improved policies, practices, and developing infection prevention programs.
Reducing infection requires a seamless collaboration between the department of infection prevention and every care provider visiting the patient bedside. Each member of the team must follow the same protocol for an effective and measureable outcome. Her leadership has helped Rochester Regional Health achieve impressive reductions in several important infections among patients.
Bronstein helped bring about a nearly 50 percent reduction in its central line associated blood stream infection rate for 2017. Reductions also were made in infections relating to the blood stream, bladder catheter, and certain types of gastrointestinal infections. She also helped revise the policy for managing methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant enterococci. These improvements decreased costs more than $500,000 per year from reduced gown use and reduced laboratory testing alone.
Infection prevention is intriguing to Bronstein because it makes her feel as if she is solving puzzles and doing detective work. “How is an unusual pathogen showing up in environmental cultures?” Bronstein says. “What else can we do to reduce infections in our patients? Are we following the latest recommendations based on a review of the available literature? There’s always a new idea to explore and a new situation to investigate. Every phone call can be a new adventure. This career requires me to keep learning and keeps me curious to know more. What’s more fun that that?”
Bronstein’s dedication to patient safety and her relentlessness efforts to improve lives are commendable, says Deborah Stamps, system vice president of quality, safety, and innovation for Rochester Regional Health. “She is a true leader in healthcare and a staunch advocate for the highest standards of patient safety and care,” Stamps says.
Bronstein, of Brighton, has worked at several outstanding medical centers and health care facilities nationwide. Her vast background includes being head nurse at the Hospital for Special Surgery, nurse epidemiologist at Duke University Medical Center, and manager of infection prevention at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
In 2016, Bronstein joined Rochester Regional Health as system director for infection prevention at Rochester Regional Health. She joined the organization when its infection prevention program consisted of a small team working to integrate and standardize quality and safety principles across the system.
“I was immediately impressed by Melissa’s expertise in clinical quality and her commitment to preventing hospital-acquired infections for all patients,” Stamps says.