Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) - Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States, accounting for an estimated 1.7 million infections and 99,000 associated deaths each year. To address this issue, the health department is working with the CDC, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) regional epidemiologists, the DOH HAI Prevention Program, local hospitals and other healthcare facilities. One of the steps OCHD is taking is through the surveillance of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapanemase also known as KPC. Numerous studies have shown the control of KPC saves an average of nearly $14,000 per patient in direct patient healthcare costs. To save lives and costs, the Orange County Health Department (OCHD) is committed to eliminating these preventable infections that occur as a function of medical or surgical conditions. KPC is an antibiotic-resistant organism that is only associated with critically ill patients with long-term stays in a healthcare setting. This bacteria can cause infections in healthcare settings, including pneumoniae, bloodstream infections, wound or surgical site infections, and meningitis. The health department works with hospitals and healthcare facilities where this organism is identified to provide guidelines for control and prevention of the organism. OCHD has worked with subject-matter experts at the CDC and DOH to implement the appropriate laboratory testing to identify the organism at local hospitals which previously did not have the testing capability. Surveillance of cases is conducted in collaboration with hospital infection prevention staff to identify KPC within the healthcare system. Most notably, the Orange County Health Department contributed to a KPC action plan which is being used as a best practice in the state for the management of KPC within a healthcare facility.
DOH HAI Prevention Program: http://www.doh.state.fl.us/disease_ctrl/epi/HAI/HAI.html
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