Washington, DC, November 9, 2009 – The American Association for Clinical Chemistry announces an audioconference on The Lab's Critical Role in Managing Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAIs) to be held on Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 2:00pm (EST). The audioconference will last 90 minutes.
HAIs represent an increasing problem for hospitals and other healthcare institutions. It is estimated that MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is associated with approximately 19,000 deaths annually, and 85% of all MRSA infections are acquired in hospital when the patient is being treated for another illness or condition. A large-scale prevalence study in 2008 indicated that 13 out of every 1,000 hospital patients on any one given day are infected or colonized with C. diff (Clostridium difficile) and that 73% of all C. diff. infections are healthcare-associated. So serious has the situation become that some insurers have announced that they will not reimburse hospitals for treating HAIs.
In January 2010, hospitals accredited by The Joint Commission must be able to show that they are addressing National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) #7 by having systems in place to reduce patients’ risk of contracting HAIs, particularly those associated with multi-drug resistant bacteria such as MRSA and C. diff. Under the NPSG, hospitals must perform periodic risk assessments, and if an assessment indicates that a great enough risk of these infections spreading exists, further actions must be taken. These actions include setting up surveillance and laboratory alert systems. For healthcare organizations that are not subject to meeting NPSG requirements, managing and mitigating HAIs through risk assessment and surveillance is just as important, since these infections are expensive to treat.
AACC and its Molecular Pathology Division invite interested journalists to attend this timely audioconference and learn about the laboratory’s role in meeting the Joint Commission’s NPSG #7, implementing surveillance and laboratory alert systems for HAIs, and more. For a complimentary registration, complete and submit a Press Registration Form. For more information about AACC, or the audioconference, contact Peter Patterson or on either of the above telephone numbers.
The audioconference is supported by a grant from BD Diagnostics.