|[December 31, 2013]
Antibiotic Crisis Makes Multimodal Intervention a Top 2014 Priority, Says Environmental Hygiene Advocate
CHICAGO --(Business Wire)--
The alarming and persistent news forewarning of an antibiotic crisis
should make multimodal
intervention - a comprehensive approach to infection control in
hospitals - a top healthcare priority in 2014, says George Clarke, CEO
of UMF Corporation and a long-time advocate of environmental hygiene.
"For those running a hospital or healthcare facility, the incentives for
multimodal are multiple," Clarke said. "The increasing threat posed by
the spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs affects not only the lives
of patients, but also a facility's reputation and its financial health.
Never before has there been such a clear-cut reason for looking beyond
the popular single initiatives, like hand washing, to full-blown
enterprise-wide multimodal intervention in the battle against
healthcare-associated infections (HAIs)."
Clarke cited several instances where experts have warned of the pending
crisis, among them:
Steve Solomon, M.D., director of the Office of Antimicrobial
Resistance at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
who cautioned in a recent blog
in Hospitals and Health Networks Daily that if we don't stop the
spread of antibiotic-resistant germs, "we are going to go over a cliff
and fall back into the situation we were in during the pre-antibiotic
era, when there were no treatments left for the very dangerous
Margaret Chan, M.D., director of the World Health Organization, who
said in an article
in The Telegraph that bacteria were starting to become so resistant to
common antibiotics that it could brin about "the end of modern
medicine as we know it."
Arjun Srinivasan, M.D., associate director of the CDC, who said in a
recent Frontline story
that we've reached "the end of antibiotics, period."
In September, the CDC issued a report,
"Antibiotic resistance threats in the United States, 2013," which
states that every year 2 million people become infected with
antibiotic-resistant bacteria and at least 23,000 people die annually
as a direct result of these infections. According to this report, many
more people die from other conditions that were complicated by an
Clarke said the CDC also makes clear that antibiotic-resistant
infections can happen anywhere with data showing that most happen in the
general community. "For example, the MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus
Aureu) that has emerged as a community pathogen is being found in
the guest rooms of hotels, in prisons, in schools and in locker rooms,"
he said. "In the news this year was how the careers of some NFL players
have been adversely affected by infections caused by MRSA."
Still, most deaths related to antibiotic resistance happen in healthcare
settings such as hospitals and nursing homes.
In fact, the U.S Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) estimates
that between 1.6 million and 3.8 million infections occur each year in
long-term care facilities with an estimated 150,000 additional
hospitalizations and 380,000 additional deaths among nursing home
residents, while adding an estimated $673 million in additional health
"If all of this isn't enough to give incentive to healthcare
administrators to consider multimodal intervention, there are plenty of
other reasons," Clarke said. "In this new era of pay-for-performance,
the need to increase and maintain HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment
of Healthcare Providers and Systems) scores, the implementation of
financial penalties, heightened patient awareness - to not address the
HAI problem can have a significant financial impact on U.S. hospitals."
Clarke said enterprise-wide multimodal intervention is the only kind of
program that has any chance of success in confronting old but still
prevalent issues, such as Clostridium difficile (C. difficile)
and MRSA, and the new and quickly spreading HAI challenges such as
carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE).
"This is a program that is supported and heralded from the hospital
C-suite down to the basement, including effective and comprehensive
environmental hygiene," he said.
According to Clarke, a multimodal approach must include:
A dedicated infection prevention team and risk assessment
Education and training
Adequate personal protective equipment
Environmental hygiene best practices supported by best-in-class
An effective hand-hygiene program that ensures maximum compliance
"For many, HAIs are at epidemic levels," Clarke said. "In 2014, the
resolve of everyone involved in patient care should be to make
multimodal intervention a top priority."
About UMF Corporation
Innovators and specialists in environmental hygiene, UMF Corporation
delivers advanced, patented antimicrobial technology with
industry-leading PerfectCLEAN® products, education, training, motivation
and support. The company, headquartered in the Chicago area, is the only
U.S. company that designs, engineers and manufactures high-performance
fibers and accessories to help its customers meet tough new challenges
in public health and safety. For more information, visit www.perfectclean.com.
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