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Evaluation of hospital infection prevention policies can identify opportunities for improvement
Date:10/29/2013

Washington, DC, October 29, 2013 Identifying gaps in infection prevention practices may yield opportunities for improved patient safety, according to a survey published in the November issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

Ascension Health, the nation's largest non-profit healthcare system with hospitals and related healthcare facilities in 23 states and the District of Columbia, conducted a 96-question survey of 71 of its member hospitals to evaluate infection control processes for catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), and surgical-site infections (SSI). The survey questions addressed policies for placement and maintenance of devices, surgical procedures, evaluation of healthcare workers' competencies, and outcomes evaluation.

The effort was undertaken as part of Ascension Health's participation as a Hospital Engagement Network in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Partnership for Patients program, a federally funded effort to help improve the quality, safety, and affordability of healthcare for all Americans with the goal to decrease preventable hospital acquired conditions by 40 percent and decrease hospital readmissions by 20 percent.

According to the survey results, the majority of hospitals had infection prevention policies in place for the use of devices, surgery, hand hygiene, and multidrug-resistant organisms. However, only 28 out of 71 (or 39.4 percent) reported having policies relating to antimicrobial stewardship, such as antimicrobial restrictions. Appropriate use of antibiotics is necessary to prevent antibiotic resistance.

Also, practices to reduce device risk varied between hospitals. For example, the use of
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Contact: Liz Garman
egarman@apic.org
202-454-2604
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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