APIC Supports Consumer HAI Campaign Launched by HHS

In acknowledgement of the significant role consumers can play in avoiding infections during a healthcare stay, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) says it is pleased to support a new campaign launched by the Office of Healthcare Quality (OHQ) and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) designed to encourage family members and caregivers to educate themselves about healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).

TheWAVE campaign asks patients and their family members to wash hands, ask questions, vaccinate and ensure safety.  The campaign provides several free tools including a wallet card, brochure and posters which organizations and hospitals can use to support their infection prevention efforts.

APIC encourages its members and hospitals across the country to adopt materials to help empower patients in the fight against HAIs.  In June 2011, APIC launched Infection Prevention and You, a major educational campaign which provides materials to guide conversations patients should hold with their healthcare team to prevent infection.

Educating patients is a key step in a comprehensive infection prevention strategy, says Michelle Farber, RN, CIC, APIC 2012 president. We invite patients to take an active role and partner with their healthcare team in preventing infections.

HHS estimates that at any given time, about 1 in every 20 patients develop an infection related to their hospital care. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), HAIs represent the most frequent adverse event in healthcare.