Local Infection Preventionist Named to State-Wide Advisory Committee

BRUNSWICK, Georgia: July 13, 2010– Lynn Reynolds, infection preventionist at the Southeast Georgia Health System Brunswick Campus, has been appointed to serve on the Georgia Healthcare- Associated Infections (HAI) Advisory Committee. Reynolds will serve an initial two-year term, which will run from July 2010 through June 2012.

Reynolds, who has 18 years of experience in hospital infection prevention, has been a participant of the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) since 1992. She will work with colleagues from throughout the state to identify new ways to prevent health care-associated infections (HAIs). The committee will also encourage Georgia hospitals to join NHSN and begin reporting cases of HAI. “We (Southeast Georgia Health System) are already enrolled in NHSN,” says Reynolds, who adds that reporting HAIs in Georgia is strictly voluntary.

HAIs are infections that are not present when a patient enters the hospitals but develop during hospitalization. Since bacteria in hospitals are often antibiotic-resistant, HAIs can be more difficult to treat and lengthen a patient’s hospital stay, thus contributing to increased health care costs.

According to Reynolds, the HAI Advisory Committee will also revise and implement the state’s HAI Prevention Plan and track how hospitals across Georgia are doing in relation to HAIs. “Our goal is to improve health care across the state by greatly reducing the number of HAIs,” Reynolds says. The committee is also part of the Georgia Emergency Infections Program, a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Georgia Division of Public Health (GDPH) and Emory University.