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Hygiene is the best defense against today’s superbugs, MRSA and VRE. But it is also the best known shield against the next germ threat, Clostridium difficile…
Hospital infections kill more Americans each year than AIDS, breast cancer and auto accidents combined.
When I was Lt. Governor of New York State, I was horrified to hear about patients suffering from hospital infections. I heard from families struggling to understand how their loved one had been killed, instead of cured, by hospital care. That’s why I founded the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths. RID is a non-profit organization dedicated to only one cause: saving lives.
- RID’s 15 Steps empowers patients to reduce their risk of infection.
- RID delivers accurate research on infection prevention for physicians and hospital staff, bridging the gap between today’s knowledge and yesterday’s practices.
- RID holds forums, presents at major medical conferences and educates thousands of caregivers using the latest technologies.
- One of RID's lasting legacies will be in medical schools and nursing schools, helping to educate the next generation of caregivers on how to provide clean care and “do no harm.” RID's goal here is to make hygiene a central part of medicine again.
- RID works with lawmakers to require hospital infection reporting, so if you need to be hospitalized you can find out which hospitals in your state have the lowest infection rates.
RID's 10 Year Success Record
Since its founding in 2003, the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths (RID) has transformed thinking about hospital infections. Here is what RID has accomplished in one decade:
- Working closely with media, RID built a groundswell of demand for transparency and improvement. A decade ago, not one state required hospitals to disclose their infection rates. Now 28 states do, and there will be more on the way.
- RID made a compelling business case for infection prevention, showing hospital decision makers that preventing infections makes hospitals more profitable.
- RID went to the White House under George W. Bush and convinced policymakers that Medicare should stop paying hospitals to treat infections that should not have occurred. This change in Medicare reimbursement is having a major impact on hospital priorities.
- The hand sanitizing dispensers you see everywhere are a clear sign of RID's impact. A decade ago, doctors and nurses failed to clean their hands before touching a patient half the time. Now, hand hygiene rates are vastly improved.
- RID educated hospital decision makers about the importance of screening incoming patients for MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). Screening is routine in almost half of U.S. hospitals, up from 17% a decade ago.
- When Clostridium difficile (C. diff) swept the nation, RID led the response, preparing hospitals to understand the threat. RID nimbly and quickly shifted the emphasis to effective cleaning. C. diff spores linger on bedrails, wheelchairs, over-bed tables, call buttons, and other surfaces. When patients touched these surfaces, they pick up the spores, then touch their own food or their mouth, and ingest the spores. In response to RID's campaign for better cleaning, even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made its cleaning standards more rigorous.
- RID is educating hospitals about new technologies that will help prevent infection. RID's Innovative Products Newsletter is sent to the board and key decision makers at every acute care hospital in the U.S.
- This year RID is alerting hospitals to the new challenge, CRE (carbapenem resistant Enterococci). Enclosed is RID chairman, Betsy McCaughey's article on CRE. In each case, RID has been ahead of the curve, alerting and informing hospitals about the next superbug.
- RID does all this on a shoestring budget, only $400,000 a year. Our overhead is small, but our impact is large and ever growing. We at RID hope you will give us your support. Your money will be spent wisely, saving lives.
RID saves more lives per dollar spent than other any other not for profit. Please support us by making a tax deductible donation.
Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D.
Chairman and Founder