Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) prevention--join the campaign!
Article Type: Report
Subject: Health care industry (Finance)
Cross infection (Prevention)
Nosocomial infections (Prevention)
Staphylococcus aureus infections (Reports)
Staphylococcus aureus infections (Prevention)
Health planning (Government finance)
Authors: Bixler, Danae
Kaplan, Jim
Pub Date: 03/01/2010
Publication: Name: West Virginia Medical Journal Publisher: West Virginia State Medical Association Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 West Virginia State Medical Association ISSN: 0043-3284
Issue: Date: March-April, 2010 Source Volume: 106 Source Issue: 2
Topic: Event Code: 250 Financial management; 900 Government expenditures Computer Subject: Health care industry; Company financing
Product: Product Code: 9124220 Centers for Disease Control; 8000310 Health Planning NAICS Code: 92312 Administration of Public Health Programs; 62 Health Care and Social Assistance
Organization: Government Agency: United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Geographic: Geographic Scope: West Virginia Geographic Code: 1U5WV West Virginia
Accession Number: 223908184
Full Text: In February 2009, an outbreak of pneumonia and invasive Streptococcus pneumoniae was reported in a West Virginia nursing home resulting in as many as 11 deaths. In May 2009, an outbreak of invasive Staphylococcus aureus was identified in association with an outpatient clinical practice. An outbreak of hepatitis B was identified in November 2009 in association with a large dental clinic. Like all healthcare associated outbreaks, these outbreaks were costly in lost revenue, patient health and provider peace of mind. We invite you to join the campaign against these devastating preventable infections.

Fortunately, 2009 also brought much-needed attention to prevention. The United States Congress mandated that all states develop a healthcare associated infections (HAI) plan. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allocated stimulus funding to the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health to support plan development and implementation. The West Virginia plan was developed with the assistance of a multidisciplinary advisory group. Membership included infectious disease physicians, hospital infection preventionists, the West Virginia Hospital Association, third party payors, West Virginia Medical Institute, the West Virginia Health Care Association, the West Virginia Health Care Authority, and other stakeholders. In deliberations throughout the fall of 2009, this group put together a plan of action for West Virginia.

Key objectives in the plan include:

1. Maintain the statewide HAI multidisciplinary advisory group to advise the Bureau for Public Health on prevention goals and objectives.

2. Choose two HAI prevention targets for the state, among: central line-associated bloodstream infections; Clostridium difficile infections; catheter-associated urinary tract infections; methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus; surgical site infections; and ventilator-associated pneumonias. Evidence-based guidelines for preventing these infections were recently published by the Society for Hospital Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA). See:

3. Improve coordination among state agencies such as the Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification; the medical, osteopathic, dental, pharmacy and nursing licensing boards; and the Office of Epidemiology and Prevention Services for management of healthcare associated outbreaks and infection control breaches.

4. Improve healthcare associated outbreak reporting and investigation. Epidemiologists with the Bureau for Public Health will receive additional training in healthcare epidemiology during 2010. A rule change mandating healthcare associated outbreak reporting will likely be introduced in 2012.

5. Enhance investigation protocols for hepatitis B and C to improve detection of healthcare associated infections.

6. Support and expand reporting of healthcare associated infections to the West Virginia Health Care Authority.

7. Encourage statewide implementation of SHEA and IDSA guidelines for preventing HAIs.

8. Establish a plan to offer training in HAI surveillance, prevention and control. Training is needed for hospital infection preventionists, physicians, office staff and others.

9. Perform a needs assessment during 2010. An annual needs assessment is envisioned to assure that nascent efforts to improve infection prevention are appropriately targeted to the needs of West Virginia hospitals and clinics.

10. Develop and implement a communications plan. West Virginia's HAI plan will be posted to the Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology website. The medical, osteopathic, nursing, dental and pharmacy boards will be notified to alert licensed professionals about the plan. The Bureau for Public Health will be discussing the plan directly with the West Virginia Association of Professionals in Infection Control (APICWV), and other stakeholders.

If all goes well, you should be hearing about prevention of healthcare associated infections from your licensing board and your local hospital. Please join the campaign against healthcare associated infections. Educate yourself about SHEA/IDSA evidence-based recommendations. Talk to the infection preventionist at your local hospital and ask how you can help. Educate your office staff. Infection prevention is a team sport with benefits for your patients, your staff and you.

Danae Bixler, MD, MPH

Director, Division of Infectious

Disease Epidemiology

Jim Kaplan, MD

Chief Medical Examiner
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