For immediate release: Feb 26, 2010
Posted by: [ISDH]
Contact: Jennifer Dunlap
Phone: (317) 233-7315

State Continues Efforts to Improve Quality of Care

INDIANAPOLIS --- As part of its continuing efforts to improve quality of healthcare, the Indiana State Department of Health will host a statewide conference to help prevent healthcare associated infections.  It will be held on Tuesday, March 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.  A main focus of the conference will be to highlight the new Indiana Healthcare Associated Infection Initiative. 

The Indiana Healthcare Associated Infection Initiative is modeled after the Indiana Pressure Ulcer Prevention Initiative, which successfully decreased pressure ulcers by 30 percent in participating healthcare facilities.  Indiana Healthcare Associated Infection Initiative will assist participating facilities through educational programs on best practices, improved infection control systems, and quality improvement activities.  This 15-month program, which is to begin in July 2010, is expected to include at least 80 participating hospitals, nursing homes, and home health agencies.

The three primary objectives of the Indiana Healthcare Associated Infection Initiative are to: 


"Preventing healthcare associated infections is a top priority for the Indiana State Department of Health," said Terry Whitson, assistant commissioner, Healthcare Quality and Regulatory Commission at the Department.  "Evidence suggests healthcare associated infections are an increasing challenge for providers.  For instance, reported cases of Clostridium difficile infections increased annually in Indiana hospitals from 2002 to 2007."

The Indiana Healthcare Associated Infection Initiative is targeting six healthcare associated infections: 

Sorrell King, founder of the Josie King Foundation and author of Josie's Story will be the keynote speaker at the conference on March 2.  Ms. King will discuss patient safety and the role of the patient and family in preventing medical errors and healthcare associated infections.  Josie's Story is based on her experiences with the death of her young daughter.  To read more about the Josie King Foundation, visit:

The Indiana initiative is part of a larger national plan developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Indiana received a grant from CDC through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  The CDC plan is based on activities outlined in the HHS Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare Associated Infections.  Dr. Alice Guh from the CDC will give a presentation at the conference on the CDC plan. 

According to Whitson, speakers at the conference on March 2 will discuss best practices for preventing infections.  Representatives from Indiana hospitals, nursing homes, and home health agencies are expected to attend along with state healthcare quality organizations, provider associations, consumer advocate organizations, and state surveyors.  Approximately 1,100 individuals are expected to attend. 

The conference agenda and additional information on the Indiana Initiative may be found on the ISDH Healthcare Quality Resource Center at  Information on the CDC Campaign may be found at


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