Kimberly-Clark Introduces Patient Education Program for HAI Prevention

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Kimberly-Clark Health Care today announced a new program to educate patients about healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and steps they can take to aid in their prevention at the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) National Magnet Conference.

The goal of the Kimberly-Clark HAI Patient Education Program is to empower patients, families and visitors through awareness and education to join with their medical professionals to prevent HAIs. In addition, the program is designed to engage more patients in HAI prevention by increasing awareness of the problem, helping patients put into context the hospital HAI data that is becoming increasingly accessible to the public and providing guidance on prevention strategies.

The program is based in-part on survey data collected by Infogroup/Opinion Research Corporation (ORC). The survey examined perceptions of more than 1,000 participants from a variety of perspectives. Key findings include:

- General lack of awareness: 56 percent of respondents are not very familiar or not at all familiar with HAIs. And, when respondents were asked to select the contributors to HAIs, less than one percent were able to distinguish accurately between those that do and those that do not contribute to HAIs

- Key decisions made based on HAI rates: 69 percent say they would not consider using a hospital with a higher HAI rate even if it is their physician's choice; 56 percent say that they would not consider using a hospital with a higher HAI rate even if it is the most reputable one for their need

- Staff education is critical: Respondents consider certified hospital programs, such as Magnet, that ensure staff follow best practices for hand hygiene, as the most important factor when choosing a hospital

"We are pleased to announce this new program at the ANCC National Magnet Conference. We believe we share in the responsibility to not only provide educational resources to the hospitals we serve but also to make resources available and accessible to the patients they serve," says Joanne Bauer, president of Kimberly-Clark Health Care. "HAIs are no longer just a healthcare problem and greater opportunities for education and awareness can only lend additional support to the collective goal of impacting what has become a leading cause of death in our country."

Kimberly-Clark's HAI Patient Education Program aims to improve overall awareness and arm patients, family members and visitors with prevention techniques to help reduce the prevalence and severity of HAIs. Through a variety of offerings, Kimberly-Clark will provide education directly for patients and their families through a dedicated patient education website, toolkit and support of community events. In addition, Kimberly-Clark will provide resources and training to hospitals and other organizations that wish to conduct their own training. The program is based in part on the company's eight-year-old KNOWLEDGE NETWORK clinical education program, which has educated more than 100,000 professionals to-date. The program will begin in October 2011 and extend through December 2013, at which time the company will conduct a follow-up survey to evaluate potential awareness improvements.

ANCC National Magnet Conference attendees can visit the Kimberly-Clark booth to learn more about the new initiative, speak with Victoria Nahum, co-founder and executive director of the Safe Care Campaign, and preview the new patient website, www.haiwatch4you.com, which includes:

- News feed of timely HAI-prevention related stories

- A tutorial detailing how to interpret hospital HAI rates - Checklists for protecting yourself and your loved ones when receiving medical treatment

 - "Hand Hygiene Saves Lives," a video produced in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Safe Care Campaign

Attendees will also be able to visit the Kimberly-Clark Education Bus, which will provide on-site access during the conference to continuing education (CE) programs on HAI prevention and other critical healthcare issues. The Education Bus has delivered more than 50,000 accredited CE certificates to doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals through interactive educational programs and product demonstrations.

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