Becker’s Medical Review recently mentioned Hutchinson Regional Medical Center (HRMC) as one of 331 hospitals nationwide and one of eight in Kansas for achieving a zero-infection rate for Clostridiodes C. difficile, a dreaded and life-threatening bacterium that causes an infection in the large intestine. A CDC fact sheet said statistics were compiled for the nation’s hospitals during an 18-month time span starting October 1, 2019 and continuing until March 3, 2021.
The National Healthcare Safety Network, a division of the CDC conducts research on how often patients in a particular healthcare facility contract certain infection during the course of medical treatment when compared to similar hospitals.
Clostridioides difficile (C difficile) is a bacterium that causes an infection of the large intestine that spreads easily when an infected person touches food, surfaces, or objects that are contaminated with feces from a person who is infected. If not treated promptly, C difficile may be life threatening. Symptoms include severe diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramping, loss of appetite and nausea that can lead to severe dehydration. Approximately 500,000 Americans are afflicted with C. difficile each year and for nearly 30,000 the infection is fatal.
Kelene Youngs, RN, CIC Infections Prevention at HRMC, said there is no priority greater for any hospital than preventing the spread of infections. “To have achieved this distinction is a monumental accomplishment for the patient care and environmental services departments that work 24/7 at Hutchinson Regional to provide the safest environment for our patients, families and staff,” Youngs said.
Youngs went on to state, “In 2019, Hutchinson Regional implemented Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection technology in an effort to curtail hospital-associated infections. The portable device can easily be moved into patient rooms, surgical suites, ICU, bathrooms and other critical areas that require disinfection. Some pathogens are multi-drug resistant, most of which can be destroyed with the use of UV technology. We feel this new technology is a contributing factor to achieving a zero-infection rate for C diff.”
Ken Johnson, President and CEO of Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System, dubbed infections public enemy number one for hospitals nationwide. “Deployment of UV technology and increased safety training and awareness are producing positive results that exceed our greatest expectations,” Johnson said. “Our long -term goal remains to maintain a zero-tolerance policy for all infections and the recent CDC designation is affirmation we are approaching that level of excellence.”
Hutchinson Regional Medical Center is an entity of Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System. Other entities are Hospice & HomeCare of Reno County, Health-E-Quip, Horizons Mental Health Center and Hutchinson Regional Medical Foundation.