APIC Expands Targets of Infection-Prevention Effort for 2009

The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) has expanded its Targeting Zero initiative for 2009 to offer comprehensive education and guidance to prevent the most common and fatal health care-associated infections (HAIs). The association notes that HAIs are a critical public health issue, affecting nearly 2 million Americans annually, with 99,000 deaths and an estimated $20 billion in health care costs.

According to CDC, the most common HAIs are urinary tract infections (32 percent), surgical site infections (22 percent), pneumonias (15 percent), and blood stream infections (14 percent). Focusing on those areas, APIC said it will publish new eliminations guides--publications designed for health care workers translating CDC recommendations into straightforward infection prevention strategies--on these five subjects:

  • Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP)
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infections
  • Catheter-associated bloodstream infections
  • MRSA in long-term care settings
  • Acinetobacter baumannii

APIC says VAP, a type of pneumonia occurring in people being assisted by mechanical ventilators, is the leading cause of death from HAIs. Acinetobacter baumannii is an antibiotic-resistant bacterium causing infections in wounded military personnel.

"APIC will continue to provide direction and guidance for healthcare workers through clearly outlined implementation strategies for reduction of HAIs," said APIC CEO Kathy Warye. "Our expanded offering has been developed in response to infection preventionists and healthcare leaders who are under increased pressure to improve outcomes and preserve healthcare dollars. As we have since 1973, APIC will help institutions bring the science of HAI reduction to the bedside."

In addition to the new elimination guides, APIC will conduct a 2009 follow-up survey to its earlier MRSA Prevalence Study, first released in 2007. The purpose of the survey will be to gain a better understanding of changes in MRSA prevalence as well as current interventions and their impact, the association said. Also slated for 2009 is a conference focusing on regulatory issues in infection prevention and a series of educational offerings on safe injection practices in ambulatory surgery centers. Additionally, APIC will launch a program to share success stories on performance improvement.

For more information about Targeting Zero educational programs, visit www.apic.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Targeting_Zero.

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