Stimulus Money To Fight Hospital Infections

By: 13 News
By: 13 News

Topeka (WIBW) - A grant from federal stimulus fund will help Kansas take aim at infections patients pick up in the hospital or doctor's office.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment will receive approximately $576,000 from the Centers for Disease Control to launch an initiative on understanding how healthcare related infections happen and how to prevent them. The money is part of $40 million in Recovery Act funding to help states fight healthcare associated infections.

The initiative will enable Kansas public health officials to develop a statewide, comprehensive plan to reduce HAIs. The planning effort will include launching a surveillance system to monitor HAIs statewide and a formal evaluation of existing programs to reduce their impact.

“Healthcare-associated infections are a serious public health concern and are being increasingly recognized as contributing significantly to healthcare costs,” said Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, State Health Officer and Director of Health for KDHE.

HAIs are infections that patients acquire while receiving treatment for another medical or surgical condition. They can occur in all settings of care, including hospitals and outpatient surgical centers, clinics and long-term care facilities such as nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities.

CDC estimates that every year, Americans contract 1.7 million infections while being treated in hospitals. These infections are associated with approximately 99,000 deaths annually. In addition to the significant toll on patients' lives, HAIs represent an estimated $30 billion in added healthcare costs.

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