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Network Services Company, an international organization of healthcare and janitorial supply distributors, announces the launch of Healthy Measures, a three-step consulting program to aid hospitals in the prevention of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) while increasing patient satisfaction scores.
Partnering with healthcare facilities to assess their current conditions and cleaning practices, Healthy Measures (www.HealthyMeasuresOnline.com) is helping hospitals meet the standards and guidelines for housekeeping and hand hygiene recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC).
"Infections pose an extreme risk to patients during a hospital stay, especially if the patient is already in a vulnerable condition," said Kevin Rudd, Network Services' chief marketing officer. "We've designed Healthy Measures to be an industry-leading solution that enables hospitals to reduce infection rates, thereby safeguarding patients and improving overall patient satisfaction."
The CDC estimates there are approximately 100,000 deaths suffered annually in the U.S. stemming from an estimated two million preventable HAIs. Some of the pathogens that result in HAIs, which have been found to be readily transmitted from environmental surfaces to health care workers' hands and to patients, include Clostridium difficile, methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), acinetobacter, norovirus and vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE). But implementation of a hand hygiene and surface sanitation program like Healthy Measures can result in dramatically lower rates of infection.
The Healthy Measures program is a three-step process comprised of:
- Interviews with key personnel to gain an understanding of the facility's current culture and challenges related to infection prevention;
- Facility assessment focusing on patient, public and staff areas to gain an understanding of current processes and procedures, and products used;
- Implementation of a comprehensive and customized joint-action plan related to hand hygiene and surface sanitation.
"The Healthy Measures Program provides a second pair of eyes when evaluating a facility and emphasizes collaboration by working closely with hospital staff to arrive at a solution," said Rudd. "As part of the comprehensive solution, we provide checklists, educational and training materials, customizable signage, monthly tips, association guidelines, hospital rating websites and access to extensive research."
Research indicates HAIs have become a financial risk to both individual healthcare facilities and the nation's health care industry. The average cost of one HAI to a hospital is $14,000, while the average cost to the U.S. healthcare industry is between $4.5 and $5.7 billion annually (Source: Stone, et al. American Journal of Infection Control 2002; 30:145-52).
"Disinfection of the hospital environment and patient care equipment are essential strategies to prevent the spread of HAIs," said Blake Kite, director of environmental services at Banner Estrella Medical Center in Arizona. "One of the biggest things that impressed me about Healthy Measures was that we could decide upon our own action plan. We felt included in the process and part of the solution."