UMF says multimodal intervention should be top priority in 2014

UMF Corporation, a Chicago area-based antimicrobial product development company, said on Tuesday that multimodal intervention, a comprehensive approach to infection control, should be a top healthcare priority in 2014.

George Clarke, the CEO of UMF Corporation, made the remarks in light of the ongoing antibiotic crisis. Clarke cited several instances in which healthcare professionals warned that humanity could be forced back into the pre-antibiotic era if steps aren't taken to stop the spread of antibiotic-resistant germs.

"For those running a hospital or healthcare facility, the incentives for multimodal are multiple," Clarke said. "The increasing threat posed by the spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs affects not only the lives of patients but also a facility's reputation and its financial health. Never before has there been such a clear-cut reason for looking beyond the popular single initiatives like hand washing to full-blown enterprise-wide multimodal intervention in the battle against healthcare-associated infections."

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, between 1.6 million and 3.8 million infections occur annually in long-term care facilities with an estimated 150,000 additional hospitalizations and 380,000 additional deaths among nursing home residents.

"If all of this isn't enough to give incentive to healthcare administrators to consider multimodal intervention, there are plenty of other reasons," Clarke said. "In this new era of pay-for-performance the need to increase and maintain (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) scores the implementation of financial penalties heightened patient awareness - to not address the HAI problem can have a significant financial impact on U.S. hospitals."

Clarke said an enterprise-wide multimodal intervention must be employed to fight issues like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile. He said such an approach must include post-discharge care, an effective hand-hygiene program, antibiotic stewardship, isolation precautions, environmental hygiene best practices, adequate personal protective equipment, education and training, active surveillance and a dedicated infection prevention team and risk assessment.

"For many HAIs are at epidemic levels," Clarke said. "In 2014, the resolve of everyone involved in patient care should be to make multimodal intervention a top priority."