Training, Video Target HAIs

HHS released the "Partnering to Heal: Teaming Up Against Healthcare-Associated Infections," an interactive computer-based video-simulation training program on May 13.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a computer-based, video-simulation training program named "Partnering to Heal: Teaming Up Against Healthcare-Associated Infections" on May 13. It supports the Partnership for Patients, a new public-private partnership that will help improve the safety and quality of health care by reducing HAIs.

On average, one-third of patients admitted to a hospital suffer medical errors or adverse events, and about 5 percent of all patients are affected by an infection related to hospital care, according to HHS. The estimated cost to Medicare of these harmful events is $4.4 billion annually.

The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health developed Partnering to Heal, which allows viewers to become any of five characters who can make decisions that affect health risks, then see the results of their decisions and learn from the outcomes. It is designed to be used by students in the health professions, early-career clinicians, other health care personnel, as well as patients and families. It's available free online.

"The current data highlight the urgency to train providers in infection control practices," said Dr. Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH, assistant secretary for health. "We're hoping this video tool will help eliminate preventable infections."

A related video teaches viewers how to prevent the most prevalent HAIs by sharing knowledge of universal and isolation precautions to take in health care settings. The focus is on teamwork, communication, hand washing, flu vaccination, and appropriate use of antibiotics and medical devices.

HHS has set a goal of decreasing preventable hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent from 2010 rates by the end of 2013, which would produce 1.8 million fewer injuries and illnesses to patients and save more than 60,000 lives during the next three years. For more information about Partnership for Patients, visit http://www.HealthCare.gov/center/programs/partnership.

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