Friday, December 17, 2010

Healthcare-Associated Infections

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People are admitted to the hospital to receive treatment for their condition and to get better so they can return home to their loved ones. Now, there many cases where people develop an infection just by being in the hospital.

I'm writing this post to make you aware of a very serious condition that is happening in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. The very places where you are suppose to seek for comfort and healing. This condition is called Healthcare-Associated Infection.

When someone develops an infection at a hospital or other patient care facility that they did not have prior to treatment, this is referred to as a Healthcare-Associated (sometimes hospital-acquired) Infection (HAI). Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) are a global crisis affecting both patients and healthcare workers. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at any point in time, 1.4 million people worldwide suffer from infections acquired in hospitals.

A Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report published in March-April 2007 estimated the number of U.S. deaths from healthcare associated infections in 2002 at 98,987. The risk of acquiring Healthcare-Associated Infections in developing countries is 2-20 times higher than in developed countries.

Afflicting thousands of patients every year, HAI often leads to lengthening hospitalization, increasing the likelihood of readmission, and adding sizably to the cost of care per patient. Financially, HAIs represent an estimated annual impact of $6.7 billion to healthcare facilities, but the human cost is even higher. Until recently, a lack of HAI reporting requirements for healthcare facilities has contributed to less-than-optimal emphasis being placed on eliminating the sources of healthcare associated infections. However, growing public anxiety regarding the issue and resulting legislation on state and local levels demanding accountability is serving to accelerate initiatives to combat HAIs.

Kimberly-Clark Health Care has launched an initiative called "Not on My Watch," a website that provides tools and information to help facilities eliminate HAIs. To learn more about this effort please visit www.haiwatch.com

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