AACN News: HHS, CCSC Present Awards for HAI Prevention

Editorial Contact:
Kristie Aylett
AACN Communications
(228) 229-9472

Best practices in efforts to eliminate healthcare-associated infections honored in national awards program

Orlando, Fla. — May 21, 2012 — The Critical Care Societies Collaborative (CCSC), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), today announced awards recognizing 12 hospital and healthcare facilities for their efforts to prevent — and eventually eliminate — healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), a leading cause of death in the United States.

HAIs are infections that are acquired while patients are receiving medical treatment for other conditions. At any given time, about 1 in every 20 patients has an infection related to their hospital care. These infections cost the U.S. healthcare system billions of dollars each year and lead to the loss of tens of thousands of lives. In addition, healthcare-associated infections can have devastating emotional, financial and medical consequences.

“Since the 2009 advent of the National Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections, we have seen rapid progress in reducing rates of several infections, especially in intensive care settings. This progress is due in large part to the leadership, dedication, and hard work of hospital teams such as those that we honor through the HHS-CCSC awards program. Thanks to you, we are squarely on track to realize most of our national infection reduction targets,” said HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Don Wright, MD, MPH.

The organizations were honored as part of a national awards program that highlights successful and sustained efforts to prevent healthcare-associated infections, specifically infections in critical care settings.

Award recipients are able to demonstrate success in reducing and eliminating central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) for 25 months or longer and show national leadership in sharing their evidence-based initiatives to help improve clinical practice.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health/Office of Healthcare Quality) partnered 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 — to launch the awards program in 2010.

Awardees were recognized today in Orlando during AACN’s National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition. Award recipients (alphabetized by state) are:


Neonatal ICU
Doctors Medical Center of Modesto
Modesto, California

Intensive Care Unit
Twin Cities Community Hospital
Templeton, California

Surgical ICU 4 East
Shands at the University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida

Medical ICU
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Iowa City, Iowa

Surgical ICU and Trauma Burn ICU
University of Michigan Health System
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Henry Ford Hospital
Detroit, Michigan

Beth Israel Medical Center
New York, New York

Surgical ICU
Roper Hospital
Charleston, South Carolina

Tennessee Valley Healthcare System
Department of Veterans Affairs
Nashville, Tennessee

Surgical ICU
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas

MICU, SICU, Neuro Critical Care 'On the CUSP' Teams
Mother Frances Hospital Regional Health Care Center
Tyler, Texas

Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center
Williamsburg, Virginia

In addition to the 12 awardees, 14 healthcare 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/2012awards.

AACN’s Director of Communications and Strategic Alliances Ramón Lavandero, RN, MA, MSN, FAAN, noted the potential impact of the awards program. “We developed this awards program to identify best practices in patient care, clinical practice and internal processes so the healthcare community can achieve wide-scale reduction and long-term elimination of healthcare-associated infections,” he said. “Through sharing what works, by the end of 2013 we hope to decrease preventable HAIs by 40 percent and save upward of 60,000 lives.”

The awards program is part of HHS’ efforts to eliminate healthcare-associated infections. In 2011, HHS launched the Partnership for Patients, a national public-private partnership to make hospital care safer, more reliable and less costly. By working with hospitals, medical groups, consumer groups and employers, the program focuses on keeping patients from getting injured or sicker and helping patients heal without complication.

HHS has set a goal of decreasing preventable hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent (compared with 2010 rates) by the end of 2013. Achieving this goal should result in approximately 1.8 million fewer injuries and illnesses to patients, with more than 60,000 lives saved over the next three years. The Partnership for Patients has the potential to save up to $35 billion across the healthcare system, including up to $10 billion in Medicare savings over the next three years.

For additional information, see the HHS Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections at www.hhs.gov/ash/initiatives/hai/index.html and the Partnership for Patients at www.HealthCare.gov/center/programs/partnership.

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.



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