HHS-CCSC awards honor efforts to eliminate health care-associated infections

May 23, 2013, 12:40 ET from Critical Care Societies Collaborative (CCSC)

BOSTON, May 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Critical Care Societies Collaborative (CCSC), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),  announces recipients in the 2013 National Awards Program to Recognize Achievements in Eliminating Health Care-Associated Infections (HAIs).  Eight hospitals and health care facilities were honored for successful and sustained efforts to prevent HAIs, specifically infections in critical care settings.

HAIs are infections acquired while patients are receiving medical treatment for other conditions. At any given time, about one in every 20 patients has an infection related to their hospital care. These infections cost the U.S. health care system billions of dollars each year and lead to the loss of tens of thousands of lives. In addition, HAIs can have devastating emotional, financial and medical consequences. 

"HHS and its government and non-government partners have seen rapid progress in reducing rates of several infections, especially in intensive care settings, since the launch of the National Action Plan to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections: Road Map to Elimination," said HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Don Wright, MD, MPH. "This progress is due in large part to the leadership, dedication, and hard work of hospital teams such as those that we honor through this joint HHS-CCSC Awards Program. Thanks to these frontline clinicians and professionals, we are on track to achieve most 2013 national targets and extend the effort beyond hospitals to ambulatory and long-term care settings." 

Award recipients  demonstrated success in reducing and eliminating central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) or catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) for 25 months or longer and show national leadership in sharing their evidence-based initiatives to improve clinical practice. These are among the most common HAIs that patients acquire while receiving medical treatment for other conditions.

Leaders of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health HAI initiative  partnered with CCSC — a multidisciplinary organization composed of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), American College of Chest Physicians, American Thoracic Society and Society of Critical Care Medicine — to launch the three-year awards program in 2010.

AACN Senior Director Ramon Lavandero, RN, MA, MSN, FAAN, noted the potential impact of the awards program. "During the three years for which it was planned, this interdisciplinary awards program has increased health professionals' awareness of best practices used by peer institutions to reduce or eliminate health care-associated infections." 

Awardees were recognized May 20 in Boston during AACN's National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition. Award recipients (alphabetized by state) are:

In addition to the eight awardees, 11 health care organizations received honorable mention recognition for their efforts toward eliminating HAIs within their facilities. Facilities receiving honorable mention in this year's awards program are listed online at www.aacn.org/haiawards.

According to the most recent national data, reported in October 2012, CLABSI in hospital ICUs and wards have been reduced by 41 percent, on track to meet or surpass the HAI Action Plan target of a 50- percent reduction by the end of 2013. CAUTI in ICUs and hospital wards have been reduced by 7 percent, on track to meet the year-end target of a 25-percent reduction. 

For additional information, visit the HHS Action Plan to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections and the Partnership for Patients websites.

About the Critical Care Societies Collaborative: The Critical Care Societies Collaborative (CCSC) promotes the exchange of ideas about critical care practice and ICU patient care among leaders from medicine, nursing, pharmacy and respiratory therapy. This multidisciplinary member organization includes the American College of Chest Physicians, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, American Thoracic Society and Society of Critical Care Medicine. Visit http://ccsconline.org for more information.

SOURCE Critical Care Societies Collaborative (CCSC)