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Patient Safety Movement Foundation Applauds Introduction of the Patient Safety Improvement Act of 2016

Irvine, California – February 1, 2016

The Patient Safety Movement Foundation has announced its strong support of the Patient Safety Improvement Act of 2016 (S. 2467), recently introduced by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

This bill would help our healthcare system better address healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) by improving data on the prevalence of HAIs reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and by establishing a grant program to support statewide collaboratives for the prevention and control of HAIs. This legislation Improves communication and transparency by requiring hospitals to report HAIs to healthcare providers involved in a patient’s post-hospital care no later than 24 hours after diagnosis.

“The CDC estimates that 1 in 25 patients acquire HAIs during their care every year and of these cases, 75,000 of them will die. That means we will lose 75,000 of our friends and family members this year solely as a consequence of their treatment in a hospital; this is unacceptable, and this bill is a significant step along the path to eliminating these preventable deaths” said Patient Safety Movement Founder, Joe Kiani (source: CDC).

The bill will also address the issue of antimicrobial stewardship to address the growing prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in hospitals (a.k.a. superbugs). Antibiotic-resistant HAIs infect more than 2 million patients every year leading to 23,000 preventable deaths (source: CDC). Every year, antibiotic-resistant infections are estimated to cost the U.S. economy between $20 billion and $35 billion in excess health care costs and as much as $35 billion in lost productivity from hospitalizations and sick days (source: CARB).

This legislation will provide grants to states to develop antibiotic stewardship action plans and require hospitals to report antibiotic use and antimicrobial resistance as part of the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program.

Sen. Whitehouse announced the introduction of S. 2467 at the 2016 World Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit January 23rd, in Dana Point, CA. “There are many different ways to tackle these challenges. I view this legislation as a starting point, and I welcome your feedback on what needs to be done to eliminate healthcare-acquired infections. Please consider me your ally in reaching zero preventable hospital deaths by the year 2020,” said Senator Whitehouse during his announcement.

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