HHS Releases Training Video Designed to Prevent HAIs

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  • May 31, 2011
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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health released, May 13, a new interactive training video designed to help hospitals and other health care settings prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Partnering to Heal: Teaming Up Against Healthcare-Associated Infections teaches viewers how to prevent the most prevalent HAIs by sharing knowledge of universal and isolation precautions to take in health care settings.
Intended for use by medical students, clinicians, and other health care personnel, viewers of the computer-based training program become one of five characters who can make decisions that impact health risks and then view the outcomes of those decisions.
HAIs are infections that people acquire while receiving treatment for another condition in a health care setting. Over a quarter of all hospital-acquired HAIs are caused by four types of infections:

  • Urinary tract infections (34 percent)
  • Surgical site infections (17 percent)
  • Bloodstream infections (14 percent)
  • Pneumonia (13 percent)

These infections are associated with a variety of risk factors, including:

  • The use of indwelling medical devices such as bloodstream, endotracheal, and urinary catheters
  • Surgical procedures
  • Injections
  • Contamination of the health care environment
  • Transmission of communicable diseases between patients and health care workers
  • Overuse or improper use of antibiotics

According to HHS, hospital-acquired HAIs alone are responsible for $28-$33 billion dollars in preventable health care expenditures annually; and an average of one in seven Medicare beneficiaries is harmed in the course of care, costing the government an estimated $4.4 billion every year.
Partnering to Heal is part of the Partnership for Patients initiative, launched in April, and is available online at no cost.

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