Flu outbreaks trigger health programmes

April 5, 2012

TAIWAN – In response to the fierce outbreak of flu and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) Taiwan’s Department of Health (DoH) initiated a series of infection control programmes. Measures such as hospital accreditation and ratings based on patient safety and quality control encourages medical institutions to establish an effective control system for hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), also known as nosocomial infections.

Other initiatives, across hospitals, include the ‘Hand Hygiene Project’, ‘Clean Wound Infection Rate’, and ‘Multimodal Hand Hygiene Improvement Strategy’.

According to a research from Forst & Sullivan, private hospitals accounted for 75% of the HAI cases in Taiwan in 2010, as they had more numbers of beds. This research analysed the following infections types: blood stream infection (BSI), surgical site infection, respiratory tract infection (RTI), urinary tract infection (UTI), others {infections of skin and soft tissues, eye (ophthalmic), reproductive organs, and stomach and intestine (gastritis)}.

The Government has also established the Taiwan Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System (TNIS) to control infection rates and help devise effective policies. Currently, hospitals voluntarily report instances of HAI to the TNIS. The feedback from TNIS helps hospitals to improve their quality of care and safety environment for both patients and healthcare workers.

“Further, as Taiwan is gearing for medical tourism, the Government is promoting the Program of Nosocomial Infection Control Inspection and Quality Improvement in hospitals,” says Frost & Sullivan Consultant Poornima Srinivasan.

According to the DoH, out of the total 2,608,751 in-patient admissions in 2010, an estimated 100,000 cases of HAI were reported, indicating a prevalence rate of 4 percent. The most frequent infections are UTI, followed by BSI, and RTI, with RTI being the biggest cause of lost bed days (267,088 lost bed days).

Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has incorporated the guidelines recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and best practices followed by both the United States and European Union to effectively reduce the number of HAI cases.

“In turn, the participants in the infection control market, namely the manufacturers of disinfectant equipment, gels, and scrubs, could implement the best practices followed in Taiwan and replicate the same in other countries of the Asia Pacific,” notes Srinivasan.

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Category: Health alert, Uncategorized

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