Skip to main content

Maryland Statewide Prevention and Reduction Collaborative (SPARC) 

A healthcare worker fills a syringe in a clinic
Implementation and assessment support for a learning collaborative focused on Maryland acute care hospitals
  • Funder
    University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • Dates
    September 2018 - July 2024

Project Overview

The Maryland Statewide Prevention and Reduction Collaborative (SPARC) is a quality improvement project among people in public health, academia, and acute care to address Maryland hospitals' infection control and prevention needs. The collaborative includes the Maryland Prevention EpiCenters (University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), the Maryland Department of Health, NORC at the University of Chicago, and Maryland acute care hospitals. SPARC has established venues for acute care hospitals to share best practices and technical expertise through a collaborative model.

The Success of the SPARC Model

In previous years, SPARC focused on the prevention and reduction of Clostridioides difficile infections (CDI). The collaborative was extremely successful with a reduction in CDI of 45% for the 12 hospitals that participated in the collaborative and a reduction in the Maryland Standardized Infection Ratio from 0.92 to 0.61.

At the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, hospitals quickly shifted focus to the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. SPARC leveraged weekly MDH COVID-19 update calls to provide expert-led forums, panel discussions, and question-and-answer town halls. An assessment of SPARC activities found that SPARC was an important source of information for hospitals managing dynamic COVID-19 guidance and policies.

Addressing the Evolving Needs of Maryland Hospitals

As the needs of Maryland’s acute care hospitals change, SPARC is focusing on two new areas—antibiotic stewardship and central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI)—while continuing its critical work supporting hospitals in their response to COVID-19 and emerging infectious diseases. The implementation of SPARC activities will include both virtual and in-person engagement opportunities developed in consultation with subject matter experts and the SPARC team.

Project Leads

Explore NORC Health Projects

Enhancing Maine’s All-Payer Claims Database

New and improved processes for collecting and using Maine’s health care claims data


Human Services Research Institute (HSRI)

Understanding California’s Middle-Income Older Adult Population

California’s middle-income seniors projected to grow to 1.6M by 2033


The SCAN Foundation, West Health