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Healthcare Associated Acquired Infections

  • Synopsis: Published: 2009-10-16 (Rev. 2010-07-14) - Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are a global crisis affecting both patients and healthcare workers. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Kimberly-Clark Corporation.
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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).

One thing everyone can agree on, no matter where they come down on the current health care debates, is that no one should get sick as a result of visiting the doctor.

Hospitals are rightfully expected to get you better but that's not always the case. Sometimes people are picking up infections, from pneumonia to antibiotic-resistant staph (MRSA), while under treatment for other health problems, or even while just in the hospital having a baby. That's a situation that could, and should, be completely avoidable.

Kimberly-Clark Health Care is on the forefront of protecting patients from Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) and has put together a site dedicated to that prevention called HAI Watch: Not on My Watch. The site has information for both healthcare professionals and healthcare consumers.

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 sizable 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.

About Not on My Watch Prevention Campaign

To protect patients by reducing the risk of HAI, healthcare professionals must continually update their knowledge of infection management.

As part of an ongoing commitment to quality care and infection prevention, nationwide doctors and hospitals are partnering with Kimberly-Clark to deliver continuing education programs on healthcare-associated infection (HAI) prevention to staff and management. As simple as education sounds, busy doctors and nurses on the front lines of delivering care can find it difficult to find the time to take advantage of scheduled programs within their hospitals.

The HAI Education Program is part of a national infection awareness campaign for healthcare professionals called "Not on My Watch" and will provide the facility with a toolkit that contains informational flyers, patient safety tips and posters.

The "Not on My Watch" campaign provides accredited continuing education (CE) programs based on best practices and guidelines as well as research available on reducing the incidence of healthcare-associated infections.

At Kimberly-Clark, it's our mission to find innovative ways to develop and maintain a variety of accredited education, equipping healthcare providers with critical insights and information on today's important clinical issues. That's why we're proud to introduce the HAI Education Bus, an impressive new one-of-a-kind mobile classroom that brings accredited CE education right to your door.

Look for this tour bus as it makes its way across the country, delivering education about healthcare-associated infections and other critical healthcare issues from the plains of Texas to the California coast to New York City and places in between.

About Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Always as Kimberly-Clark and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 150 countries.

Every day, 1.3 billion people - nearly a quarter of the world's population - trust K-C brands and the solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being.

With brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds No. 1 or No. 2 share positions in more than 80 countries. To keep up with the latest K-C news and to learn more about the company's 137-year history of innovation, visit www.kimberly-clark.com



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