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Virginia Hospitals Reduce Infections 41%
Date:6/23/2011

RICHMOND, Va., June 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Four hospitals serving Virginia patients reduced healthcare-acquired infection rates (HAIs) a collective 41 percent within 90 days, resulting in savings of $1.2 million in additional costs to the health care delivery system. Adding a persistent action plan to existing federal hand washing protocols, these hospitals improved patient safety and quality, reported 59 fewer infections and reduced patient length-of-stay and unnecessary readmissions.

VHHA Services, a subsidiary of the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, coordinated a study among the four hospitals to determine if adding a persistent hand sanitizing lotion and a persistent surface disinfectant to current practices reduces HAI rates. The products, developed by Germ Pro Products, Inc., offer continual, long-acting (persistent) effects that kill germs on hands for four hours and on surfaces for up to 28 days.

Health care workers at the four hospitals were instructed to apply Germ Pro Hand Sanitizing Lotion at the start of their workday and reapply every four hours. They were told to continue washing their hands or using an alcohol sanitizer as recommended in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Hand Hygiene Guidelines. Environmental Services employees were instructed to apply the surface disinfectant to "touch points" only. Rooms were disinfected after patient discharges and common hospital areas were treated monthly. No capital investment was required by the participating hospitals.

The study ran three months and compared HAI rates during the study to the three months prior to the study period. After the three-month trial period, results showed an average of 41.5 percent fewer infections per 1,000 patient days. Individual hospitals reduced infections 29.4 percent, 32.4 percent, 50 percent and 54.2 percent respectively.

The CDC estimates the average cost of an HAI is $20,549, which results in a cost savings est
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SOURCE Virginia Hospital Shared Services Corporation
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