Awards to recognize best practices in reducing and eliminating healthcare-associated infections

Applications due Dec. 19, 2011, for HAI awards sponsored by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Critical Care Societies Collaborative

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. – Nov. 18, 2011 – Teams of critical care professionals and healthcare institutions with a record of reducing and eliminating healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are encouraged to submit their best practices to a national awards program.

Now in its second year, the annual awards program recognizes teams of critical care professionals and healthcare institutions that show excellence, leadership and notable, sustained improvements in preventing HAIs, specifically infections of critically ill patients.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of Healthcare Quality (HHS), partnered with the Critical Care Societies Collaborative (CCSC) — a multidisciplinary organization composed of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, American College of Chest Physicians, American Thoracic Society and Society of Critical Care Medicine — to launch the awards program in 2010. 

Earlier this year, HHS recognized the inaugural set of hospital and health care organizations for their efforts to prevent HAIs, which patients acquire while receiving medical treatment for other conditions.

In the spring of 2012, up to eight awards will be conferred in two categories according to specific criteria aligned with national standards:

  • HHS and CCSC Award for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Eliminating Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections
  • HHS and CCSC Award for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Eliminating Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

Award recipients will have demonstrated success in reducing and eliminating central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) for 25 months or longer and shown national leadership in sharing their evidence-based initiatives to help improve clinical practice.

Applications for the 2012 awards are due by Dec. 19, 2011. Visit AACN’s award site for complete details on eligibility, selection criteria and application requirements. AACN will coordinate nominations and selections for the 2012 award cycle.

AACN’s Director of Communications and Strategic Alliances Ramón Lavandero, RN, MA, MSN, FAAN, notes the potential impact of the awards program. “We developed this awards program to identify best practices in patient care, clinical practice and internal processes so the healthcare community can achieve wide-scale reduction and long-term elimination of healthcare-associated infections,” he says. “Through sharing what works, by the end of 2013 we hope to decrease preventable HAIs by 40 percent and save upward of 60,000 lives.”

HAIs rank among the top 10 causes of death in the United States, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta. The CDC reports nearly 2 million HAIs occur in hospitals each year, contributing to almost 100,000 deaths.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN joins together the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and claims more than 235 chapters worldwide. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution. To learn more about AACN, visit www.aacn.org, connect with the organization on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aacnface or follow AACN on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aacnme.

About the Critical Care Societies Collaborative: The Critical Care Societies Collaborative (CCSC) promotes the exchange of ideas about critical care practice and ICU patient care among leaders from medicine, nursing, pharmacy and respiratory therapy. This multidisciplinary member organization includes the American College of Chest Physicians, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, American Thoracic Society and Society of Critical Care Medicine.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, Calif. 92656-4109;
Phone: (949) 362-2000; Fax: (949) 362-2020; www.aacn.org;
facebook.com/aacnface; twitter.com/aacnme

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Editorial Contact:
Kristie Aylett
AACN Communications
(228) 229-9472
kristie.aylett@aacn.org

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