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FRANCE OPENS NI TREATMENT CENTRES

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The French Ministry of Health opened eight specialized centers to treat the most complex and serious NI’s. Each center employs specialists in the field. A budget of 900,000 Euros ($1,350,000) has been allotted to set up these centers, and an additional 150,000 Euros will be allotted to each center at a later date. Patrick Mamoudy, Director of Hospital Services:  “Treating and eliminating a NI requires specialized knowledge that many professionals simply don’t have. Specialized biologists are needed to accurately recognize the bacteria in question and to prescribe the appropriate antibiotic.

Without ultra specialized care, patients afflicted with a NI could easily become invalids or die. 
“For the last several years we have been asking the Health Ministry to recognize the need for specialized centers and to set up a network of such centers throughout France. The creation of these eight centers is a huge step in the right direction” declared Jean-Michel Ceretti, founder of the association Le Lien. Mr. Ceretti has lobbied on behalf of NI victims and put pressure on the  French state to place them under its care. (www.lelien.typepad.fr).

The new treatment centers have implemented all anti nosocomial infection measures adopted since 2002. Consequently, France has reduced the nosocomial infection rate to 4.9%, the lowest in Europe and two times lower than the Quebec rate. Furthermore, France’s NI rate has been steadily decreasing due to a zero tolerance NI risk management policy.Anti NI measures adopted by the French government

  1. As of 2009, hospitals will be legally obligated to publish their NI and death rates.
  2. The national surgical advisory board has created a checklist in order to improve the safety of invasive procedures such as the insertion of a central line catheter or hooking a patient up to an artificial respirator. The checklist specifies the protocol for all surgical and invasive procedures. An assistant observes the procedure and stops it immediately if one of the steps is not performed. This checklist is based on the same principles used by the airline industry to ensure the safe take off and landing of aircraft as well as the mechanical safety of aircraft. Several American hospitals have already implemented the checklist and the results are encouraging. For example, the checklist has allowed some hospitals to completely eliminate central-line catheter related blood infections and artificial respirator related cases of pneumonia for periods ranging from several months to two years.
The main advantage of these measures is that they are easy and inexpensive to implement. Moreover, their success clearly demonstrates that improving patient safety and controlling costs is a question of sound planning and political will rather than simply increasing health care spending.

The French Ministry of Health has set up a web link to provide information of NI’s at the following website: www.sante.gouv.fr/htm/dossiers. The same information can also be accessed by phone at 0820 03 33 33.
 

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