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July 26, 2016

Meet PDI's New VP of Clinical Affairs

Keith St. John joins PDI with a background in clinical microbiology, medical technology, and infectious diseases. For decades, he worked as an Infection Preventionist (IP) and most recently as a Clinical Epidemiologist and IP. Keith has worked in a variety of healthcare settings, including adult, pediatrics, and industry, and holds a certification in Infection control (CIC) and medical technology (ASCP).


We asked Keith a few questions about his background as well as his thoughts on the healthcare industry. Read what he had to say:


What makes you excited for the future of PDI?
I am passionate about eliminating healthcare associated infections (targeting zero HAIs), and PDI has a very important role to play in this endeavor.  More than ever, the patient’s environment and access to medical devices have proven to be important vectors of transmitting microorganisms to patients if not consistently cleaned and disinfected properly.  What is truly exciting about the future of PDI is we are in the business of saving lives as partners in infection prevention!


What are some of the most influential trends that you see impacting the healthcare industry?
We are now in the era of pay for performance…value based purchasing has changed the landscape of healthcare.  Accountability is the name of the game, with regulatory mandates to submit data on HAIs and SSIs to CDC/NHSN.  Very soon we will also see data being sent to NHSN on antibiotic utilization and antibiotic resistance from the Pharmacy & Microbiology Laboratory which is 100% electronic data submissions by every hospital in the country.  The financial penalties for poor performance are substantial, and threaten the survivability of some organizations if interventions are not quickly deployed to reverse this negative trend.  If there ever was a time for healthcare organizations and industry to partner together to maximize patient safety, it is now.


What role does industry play in driving policy change? Why is this important? 
Industry has a critical role to play in partnering with policy setting organizations to maximize strategies of targeting zero HAIs, while keeping healthcare organizations in the top quartile of financial incentive payments.  Our company is in the business of saving lives, while also proving to be an effective cost savings strategy for infection prevention and food safety.

Fun Fact: 
I am a professionally trained musician, beginning at the age of 7 with piano. I have served many years as a church organist/choir director in my home state of Delaware, along with being a tenor in a local community choir called the New Ark Chorale.  Healthcare and Music go together!


Acronym Key:
IP=Infection Preventionist
HAIs=Healthcare Associated Infections
SSIs=Surgical Site Infections
CDC=US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
NHSN=National Healthcare Safety Network