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Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are infections that patients acquire while receiving treatment in a healthcare facility. HAIs are often preventable and, if reduced, can save lives and avoid excess costs. Clostridium Difficile Infections (CDI) are one type of HAI and are the number one cause of healthcare-associated infectious diarrhea.   CDI is increasing rapidly in the United States, despite the hard efforts in healthcare organizations to prevent it. According to the Association of Professionals in Infection Control, a more virulent and antibiotic-resistant strain has developed over the last five years, which has been associated with more serious disease, treatment failures, and deaths. Effective CDI prevention measures require a multidisciplinary approach in healthcare facilities that includes hand hygiene, isolation precautions, antibiotic restriction, and effective environmental cleaning. 

Through funding from the Partnership for Patient Care, HCIF has commenced a 12- to 18-month collaborative aimed at the prevention of CDI in the region’s hospitals, nursing homes and long-term acute care facilities (LTACs). The Regional Clostridium Difficile Conference on November 12, 2009 at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia served as the launch of this collaborative. Organizations that commit to participation in the collaborative will be invited to join a series of conference calls, webinars and networking calls at no charge. Participating organizations will be provided with a number of resources, including bundle strategies that encompass the most effective measures for prevention, environmental cleaning and antimicrobial management. Organizations will be expected to:
1.       Establish objective organizational goals aimed at reducing or eliminating the incidence of  
          C. difficile infections acquired in their organization;
2.       Designate a senior leader that will own and direct improvement efforts;
3.       Utilize a multi-disciplinary team to lead prevention and treatment efforts;
4.       Select and implement proposed bundle strategies;
5.       Collect data in order to measure effectiveness of improvement efforts and to share
           results confidentially;
6.       Participate in collaborative meetings, audioconferences and networking sessions.