As part of the Provincial Program to Help Improve Control of Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAI) that Pan American Energy (PAE) has developed with the Health Ministry of Chubut through the Foundation of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research Studies (FUNCEI), the company co-organized the third seminar this year, at the local Hospital in Trelew.
Over two days, healthcare professionals received training on some of the aspects related to the role that nurses play in the control of HAI, focusing specifically on the work of Heads/ Supervisors from the Nursing, Pharmacy and Sterilization Departments, and including prevention measures.
The program seeks to establish a unified surveillance system for HAI both in the provincial public healthcare centers and in those small private institutions that wish to be part of this surveillance system and offer hospitalization to patients who suffer from acute conditions. In this sense, it is a program that goes far beyond the hospital.
From FUNCEI, Diego Fridman explained "The program is really interesting; it seeks to reduce the number of infections a person can acquire when they are hospitalized for reasons that may not be directly related to an infection. We strive to work with the doctors and the staff in the laboratories, the nurses, and the hospital hygiene and sterilization teams to reduce the number of infections, thus helping to reduce the number of days the patients stay in the hospital and minimize the risks to which they are exposed, all while seeking to decrease the costs associated with long hospitalizations."
Hospital-Acquired Infections threaten patient safety and are an indicator of the quality of healthcare provided by an institution. Surveillance and control programs seek to reduce the incidence of the associated morbidity and mortality as much as possible.
Fridman noted "Infections are a sensitive indicator of the quality of healthcare provided, and this is a worldwide problem. Some hospital-acquired infections cannot be reduced and are inherent to the practice of medicine, but the idea is to keep them under control to avoid complications. This can be achieved if we work alongside other agencies or institutions, as we do in the case of this program with the Health Ministry, the provincial hospitals, and PAE´s support. We work on measures as simple as increasing the frequency at which healthcare professionals need to wash their hands, keeping the hospital clean, and making adequate use of the antibiotics available to give an appropriate response to the problems in each institution."
The program will be implemented in 4 stages, with every stage being rolled out on a yearly basis. To meet the objectives established for each stage, 4 annual visits are planned, lasting two days each, with a carefully designed agenda. During the visits to some of the participating hospitals, there will be informative meetings, training will be delivered to participants, data will be analyzed, and feedback will be provided. In between visits, there will be on-demand online contact between the participating hospitals and the Coordinating Center.
"Having information available on each hospital, centralizing it at the Ministerial level, analyzing it and giving feedback to each sector will allow us to adapt the measures to the local needs. We can see how enthusiastic the participants are to cooperate, learn, contribute information and become part of the initiative, and we understand this will be extremely positive for the province. We are also pleased to see that the Ministry is interested in the program and is ready to bring all the actors together to share information that is essential to implement the best possible measures. Knowing the map of what is happening will allow us to manage the program effectively," Fridman concluded.