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The major impact that a successful ASP has on a healthcare organization rests on its ability to
improve patient outcomes and reduce adverse events, including morbidity due to antibiotic-resistant pathogens (also known as MDROs) and Clostridium difficile (C difficile), organisms responsible for an increasing number of HAIs. MDRO infections and other HAIs lead to substantial patient morbidity, increased healthcare costs, prolonged hospitalization, and, most importantly, patient mortality.

A key partner in an organization’s ASP—which seeks to reduce HAIs and the incidence of MDROs—is the organization’s IPC program. IPC programs are in place at most healthcare organizations to encourage practices that prevent HAIs; systematically assess the burden of HAIs and MDRO infections; develop policies and practices to prevent HAI transmission; educate healthcare personnel (HCP), patients, caregivers, and visitors about infection prevention strategies; monitor adherence to recommended prevention practices; investigate outbreaks of HAIs; and prepare organizations for new infectious threats, such as novel MDROs or pandemic influenza. These efforts can synergize with those of an ASP to help reduce the burden of these infections. IPC programs often comprise infection preventionists (usually nursing personnel, many of whom are certified in IPC), physician epidemiologists, quality consultants, and data analysts.

This module will briefly review the magnitude and impact of HAIs and MDROs, the fundamentals of how pathogens (such as MDROs and C difficile) are transmitted, basic IPC measures to reduce such transmission, and the importance of linking the IPC program and ASP

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