National Awards to Recognize Best Practices in Reducing or Eliminating HAIs

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Teams of critical care professionals and healthcare institutions with a record of reducing or eliminating healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are encouraged to submit their best practices to a national awards program.

In the third year of this three-year initiative, the awards program continues to recognize teams of critical care professionals and healthcare institutions that show excellence, leadership and notable, sustained improvements in preventing HAIs, specifically infections in critically ill patients.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (Office of Healthcare Quality/Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health and Partnership for Patients) (HHS) partners with the Critical Care Societies Collaborative (CCSC) — a multidisciplinary organization composed of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, American College of Chest Physicians, American Thoracic Society and Society of Critical Care Medicine — on the awards program.

In 2011 and 2012, HHS recognized hospitals and healthcare organizations for their successes in reducing or eliminating central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). The 2013 program adds catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs). These are among the most common HAIs that patients acquire while receiving medical treatment for other conditions.

In the spring of 2013, awards will be conferred in three categories according to specific criteria aligned with national standards:
- HHS and CCSC Award for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Eliminating Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections
- HHS and CCSC Award for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Eliminating Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia
- HHS and CCSC Award for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Eliminating Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections

Award recipients will have demonstrated success in reducing or eliminating CLABSIs, CAUTIs and VAP individually or in combination for 25 months or longer and shown national leadership in sharing their evidence-based initiatives to improve clinical practice.

Applications for the 2013 awards are due by Dec. 19, 2012. Visit AACN’s award site for complete details on eligibility, selection criteria and application requirements. AACN will coordinate nominations and selections for the 2013 award cycle.

AACN’s senior director of ccmmunications and strategic alliances Ramón Lavandero, RN, MA, MSN, FAAN, noted the continuing impact of the awards program. “During the past two years, this team-focused awards program has raised awareness of best practices in patient care, clinical practice and internal processes so the healthcare community can continue to achieve wide-scale reduction and long-term elimination of healthcare-associated infections,” he says.

HAIs rank among the top 10 causes of death in the United States, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta. The CDC reports nearly 2 million HAIs occur in hospitals each year, contributing to almost 100,000 deaths.

Source: American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

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