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Experts Team To Reduce HAIs

For Denise Castelli, the Infection Prevention Leadership Summit provides hope — hope that healthcare teams will continue striving for new solutions to combat healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Denise knows the impact of HAIs all too well. As a senior center fielder at the University of New Haven, Conn., Denise suffered a broken leg while playing in one of her final college softball games. A leg infection ensued, keeping Denise on the sidelines for the next 15 months. After suffering through more than 30 surgeries to combat the surgical site infection, Denise had her right leg amputated below the knee. Denise’s story is a poignant reminder that, despite the best efforts of passionate health care workers, HAIs still occur.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HAIs remain a significant threat to patient health and recovery and the financial viability of healthcare facilities. Approximately one in 20 1 hospitalized patients acquires an HAI, with an estimated annual direct medical cost to hospitals between $28.4 and $45 billion 2. The cost benefits of prevention range from $5.7 billion (assuming 20 percent of infections are preventable) to as much as $31.5 billion (assuming 70 percent of infections are preventable) 3. But, new approaches are needed that focus on leadership and collaboration across disciplines to achieve sustainable HAI reduction. This was the focus of the 2012 Infection Prevention Leadership Summit (IPLS) hosted by the 3M Infection Prevention Division and its partners Sage Products‚ Belimed and Rochester Medical, the only educational event of its kind to bring together key professional associations and interdisciplinary participants to exclusively focus on leadership in HAI reduction.

More than 30 teams representing healthcare facilities from all regions of the United States, Brazil, Canada and the Netherlands convened at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn., this week to tackle real-world business cases and challenges related to achieving sustainable HAI reduction. Unlike other meetings, IPLS brought together cross-functional teams for working sessions and leadership training. By focusing on their own real business cases, the teams emerged with solutions and ideas they can put into practice at their facilities.

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