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News

Medline launches Hand Hygiene Compliance Program in the USA to combat HAIs

Medline Industries : 18 June, 2008  (Company News)
Medline Industries has launched its Hand Hygiene Compliance Program (HHCP) to US hospitals and healthcare facilities.
'Most healthcare-associated infection (HAI) is spread by direct contact, especially via the hands of health workers, and data continues to support hand hygiene as the single most important way of reducing such infections,' said Infection Prevention Advisory Board member Linda S Johnson, MSN, RN, CIC, Infection control manager for the University of Missouri. 'This programme will be an important part of a healthcare provider's strategy to improve patient outcomes and reduce hospital costs related to HAI.'

As the number one defense against healthcare-acquired conditions - it is estimated that handwashing alone could prevent 20,000 patient deaths per year - hand hygiene has an important role to play in the prevention of infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than two million HAIs annually in the USA, resulting in an estimated $30.5 billion in additional healthcare costs and more than 100,000 inpatient deaths.

The federal Medicare programme recently announced that beginning in October 2008 it will no longer reimburse for extra costs associated with certain types of HAIs acquired while the patient was receiving care, giving hospitals and healthcare facilities even more incentive to implement prevention measures such as hand hygiene compliance.

Studies have shown, however, that despite being a proven effective practice, hand hygiene compliance among healthcare workers is poor, with the World Health Organization reporting an average compliance rate of 40 percent. Skin irritation and dryness caused by frequent hand washing with soap and water, as well as inadequate understanding of hand hygiene guidelines or protocols, are the most often cited reasons for noncompliance.

Medline's comprehensive HHCP addresses these issues by combining its best-in-class products for improving skin condition and clinician-reviewed education to improve hand hygiene compliance while dramatically improving the skin condition of healthcare workers.
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