Hospira Applauds North Carolina’s New Legislation Aimed at Reducing Healthcare-Associated Infections

The legislation, known as the Model Healthcare-Associated Infections Law will help reduce the number of infections and deaths that result from hospital stays in North Carolina.  Currently more than 1.7 million people are infected with a healthcare-associated infection (HAI) in the U.S. and more than 100,000 people die from it annually. This is bill helps take steps to prevent these types of unnecessary deaths while saving millions in healthcare costs.

— New law to help reduce the number of healthcare-associated infections across the state —

LAKE FOREST, Ill., June 22, 2011 Hospira (NYSE:HSP), a leading provider of clinical information and medication delivery technologies, today announced its support for North Carolina’s new law establishing a statewide surveillance and reporting system for 14 specified healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The legislation, known as the Model Healthcare-Associated Infections Law, is effective today and institutions have until Dec. 31 to comply with its provisions. It specifies rules for a statewide reporting and surveillance system emphasizing a particular preference for electronic surveillance. The legislation is supported by the North Carolina Hospital Association, the North Carolina Division of Public Health and healthcare facilities throughout the state.

“We are pleased to be part of this improvement in infection control and standardized reporting methods for North Carolina,” said Hugh Tilson, senior vice president, North Carolina Hospital Association. “We are confident that this legislation will build on all of the work we are doing to improve the quality of care and reduce infection rates throughout the state.”

These soon-to-be required reporting and surveillance systems help prevent the occurrence of major patient safety hazards like HAIs, adverse drug events and antimicrobial resistant infections. These have been linked to increased morbidity and mortality, and have an enormous financial impact on both healthcare institutions and society at large. For example, an estimated 1.7 million patients develop an HAI in the United States each year, and 99,000 die as a result, adding $28 to $33 billion in healthcare costs annually.[i]

The state of Pennsylvania passed a similar law in 2007, with very positive results. After implementing the reporting program for HAIs, which also requires use of electronic clinical surveillance systems to track and report infections, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported a 12.5 percent reduction in HAIs in the state’s acute-care hospitals in 2009.[ii]

In North Carolina, several facilities have preemptively adopted electronic clinical surveillance systems, such as Hospira’s TheraDoc™ platform, which interface with a number of data sources to provide near real-time, actionable information to help identify infections sooner, improve efficiency and workflow and allow clinicians more time for patient interventions, HAI improvements and education.

“We implemented electronic clinical surveillance software in February 2010 and have seen improved efficiency in surveillance and tracking of healthcare-associated infections,” explained Robin Carver, director of infection prevention, WakeMed Health & Hospitals, in Raleigh, North Carolina. “The system has allowed WakeMed clinicians to spend more time on HAI education and prevention and less time on data collection and reporting.”

“This new legislation will help support Hospira’s focus on reducing HAIs and other adverse patient events at healthcare facilities across the United States, helping to improve patient safety, reduce healthcare costs and increase care quality,” added France Pitera, vice president, Clinical Information Technology, Hospira.

About The TheraDoc Clinical Surveillance Platform

TheraDoc systems are actively used in more than 300 U.S. hospitals, making critical patient information and medical knowledge readily available to help clinicians intervene quickly, prescribe appropriately and improve the quality of patient care, as well as facilitate reporting of HAIs via the NHSN. The TheraDoc clinical surveillance platform is the engine that powers several knowledge modules, including the Infection Control Assistant, Antibiotic Assistant, ADE Assistant, Clinical Alerts Assistant and Anticoagulation Assistant. For more information about TheraDoc, visit http://www.theradoc.com or call (801) 415-4400.

About Hospira

Hospira, Inc. is a global specialty pharmaceutical and medication delivery company dedicated to Advancing WellnessTM. As the world leader in specialty generic injectable pharmaceuticals, Hospira offers one of the broadest portfolios of generic acute-care and oncology injectables, as well as integrated infusion therapy and medication management solutions. Through its products, Hospira helps improve the safety, cost, and productivity of patient care. The company is headquartered in Lake Forest, Ill., and has approximately 14,000 employees. Learn more at http://www.hospira.com.

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1 Comment

  • I am glad to see that there are being provisions taken to eliminate HAI. These numbers are staggering- 1.7 million infected and nearly 100,000 die from these infections each year. I hope to hear that this legislation and the technology used, improve patient care. Thanks for the interesting read!

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