Infection Network


About the Collaborative Healthcare-Associated Infection Network (CHAIN)

The Collaborative Healthcare-Associated Infection Network (CHAIN) represents a partnership formed in 2011 between the Minnesota Chapter of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC-Minnesota), the Minnesota Department of Health, the Minnesota Hospital Association, and Stratis Health. In early 2017, CHAIN expanded membership to include organizations representing providers across care settings.

CHAIN coordinates across the continuum of health care delivery and supports patients, individuals, and their families to prevent harm from infections acquired in the process of care and combat antibiotic resistance. By leveraging the collective capacity of our members and resources, integrating and aligning related initiatives, and breaking down silos and barriers to implementation of best practices, CHAIN serves as a resource to the health care community and each other.

The graphic below illustrates how CHAIN works with providers at the local level to implement activities which support the state plans for reducing healthcare-associated infections and enhancing antibiotic stewardship. Those plans are developed in alignment with national priorities set forth by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

CHAIN Objectives

  • Coordinate, promote and support implementation and enhancement of the core elements of Antibiotic Stewardship across the continuum of care.
  • Promote and support coordination and communication across transitions of care related to treating and preventing infections.
  • Engage with professional organizations regarding appropriate testing practice with a focus on C. difficile and urinary tract infections.
  • Recognize and spread best practices of high-performing organizations.

CHAIN Strategies 

  • Establish active work groups representing various settings of care, to include at a minimum: hospital, long-term and community care, and outpatient settings. 
  • Establish a baseline of current performance across care settings related to antibiotic stewardship, care transitions for patients with infections, and testing practices for C. difficile and urinary tract infections.
  • Identify and promote current tools and promising practices to support antibiotic stewardship, care transitions for patients with infections, and testing practices for C. difficile and urinary tract infections, including through a call for award nominations related to these topics. 
  • Develop toolkits and resources informed by gaps identified in the baseline assessment. 
  • Host annual CHAIN Conference as an opportunity for providers to network and to hear promising practices and lessons learned from their peers across the continuum of care. Include award nominations. 
  • Update and maintain CHAIN website as a source of information and promotion of promising practices, tools, and resources.