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Hidden Areas of Infection in U.S. Hospitals
Date:6/27/2008

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., June 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Health care facilities in the U.S. are entering a new era of "zero tolerance" for healthcare-associated infections (HAI). Could there be hidden areas of infection that are being overlooked? A new public health education program from the production company Mission Critical attempts to answer that question.

The program, entitled "Hidden Areas of Infection," (http://www.missioncriticaltv.com/index-8-1.html) documents how an acute care facility in Virginia is solving this enormous infection control problem through planning, education, and the right equipment -- including the widespread use of disposable products. Prime targets for disposable technologies are reusable products that see use on thousands of different patients, which can dramatically increase the risk of cross-contamination. Examples include blood pressure cuffs, pulse oximetry sensors, and electrocardiogram (ECG) wires.

Public awareness of the HAI epidemic is growing, helped by advocacy groups such as the non-profit Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths (RID). Dr. Betsy McCaughy, the former Lt. Governor of New York, founded this group in response to a stunning statistic: Annual deaths from hospital infections in the U.S. -- some 103,000 deaths per year -- exceed the death toll from AIDS, breast cancer, and auto accidents combined (http://www.hospitalinfection.org/).

In addition to the moral imperative, hospitals will soon have another compelling incentive to reduce infection rates -- one that affects their bottom lines and reputations. In October 2008, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin limiting reimbursements for certain infections as part of the HAI zero tolerance mandate. Through these and other actions, Congress hopes to create greater transparency around HAI events
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SOURCE LifeSync Corporation
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