Press Releases

 

Entries in Constituent Service (510)

Tuesday
Aug052014

NH DHHS - Annual Hospital and Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) Healthcare-Associated Infections Reports Released

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) on Friday, August 1,

released the 2013 Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) Hospital Report

and the 2013 Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) Ambulatory Surgery

Center (ASC) Report based on data from the 33 hospitals and 27 ASCs

licensed in the state. The reports, mandated by law, report data on the

occurrence of specific HAIs. For hospitals, central line–associated

bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and

surgical site infections following certain heart, colon, abdominal

hysterectomy, and knee surgical procedures are reported. For ASCs, surgical

site infections following certain breast, hernia, and open reduction of

fracture surgical procedures are reported.



The reports also provide data on hospitals’ and ASCs’ compliance with

measures that help protect patients from healthcare-acquired infections.

These data include adherence to infection prevention practices during

central line insertions in hospitals, the appropriate use of antimicrobials

during surgical procedures in hospitals and ASCs, and influenza vaccination

rates among hospital and ASC healthcare personnel.



“The numbers for hospitals continue to show improvement and for the second

year ambulatory surgical centers are doing well compared with national

averages,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “We

know we have great hospitals and medical services in New Hampshire with

many dedicated medical personnel. But there is nothing like hard data to

find out how we are doing as a State and to make improvements to better

protect the health of New Hampshire’s citizens.”



Hospitals:



Overall, statewide infection rates in hospitals are showing improvement

compared with national data. A total of 183 HAIs were reported by hospitals

in 2013, compared with 198 in 2012, 110 in 2011, 114 in 2010, and 134 in

2009. The increased number of infections reported in 2012–2013 was due to

the expansion of hospital reporting requirements in 2012. The overall

observed number of HAIs in New Hampshire hospitals was 30% lower than

predicted based on national data; there were also 66% fewer central

line-associated bloodstream infections and 32% fewer surgical site

infections than predicted. There were 4% more catheter-associated urinary

tract infections than predicted, but this difference is not statistically

significant and the number of infections observed is considered similar to

national data.



Statewide hospital adherence to four infection prevention practices during

central line insertions was 98.4%, a significant improvement from 2012.

Antimicrobial prophylaxis was given accurately over 98% of the time, more

often than the national average. The overall healthcare personnel influenza

vaccination rate in hospitals was 92.9%, which has been significantly

improving since 2008 and exceeds the Healthy People 2020 goal of 90%.



Ambulatory Surgery Centers:



Overall, statewide infection rates in ASCs are similar in comparison to

national data. A total of six surgical site infections were reported by

ASCs for 2013, compared with four in 2012. The overall observed number of

surgical site infections in New Hampshire ASCs was 25% fewer than predicted

based on national data; however, this difference is not significant and

considered similar to national data. Statewide ASC adherence to intravenous

antibiotic prophylaxis timing guidelines to prevent surgical site infection

was 98.3% (similar to 2012) and the overall staff influenza vaccination

rate was 88.7% (a significant increase from last year, during which the

rate was 83.5%).



The collection of the data is intended to be a tool for hospitals and

ambulatory surgery centers to track their progress and identify areas that

require special attention, for DHHS to see where improvements can be made,

and to help inform consumers. To view the reports, visit

http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/hai/publications.htm.

Wednesday
Jul022014

NH DHHS - Food Safety Tips for the Summer Season

Concord, NH – During this busy summer season of trips to the beach,

vacations, and cookouts, the Department of Health and Human

Services’ (DHHS) Food Protection Section wants to remind everyone to follow

some important food safety practices to avoid foodborne illnesses, such as

Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli, and Campylobacter.



There are an estimated 48 million cases of foodborne disease, 128,000

hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths each year in the United States.



“Food is an important part of vacation and holiday gatherings but it needs

to be handled safely, especially during the warmer weather,” said Dr. José

Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “The basic rule is keep hot

foods hot and cold foods cold. It may be common sense, but it should never

be overlooked. Just like hand washing, the more we practice it the more

routine it becomes and the safer we all will be.”



A DHHS video on summer grilling food safety is available on YouTube at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWDyMOUTrfM. There are some simple

precautions everyone should always take to reduce the possibility of

becoming sick when preparing food, which include:

Separate: Use a separate cutting board for cooked foods and raw foods

(especially meat) and always wash them after use. Avoid cross

contamination. Wash any utensil after preparing one food item before

going on to the next item.

Clean: Always wash hands before touching any food. Wash hands and

surfaces often during food preparation and afterward.

Cook: Pork, lamb, veal, and whole cuts of beef should be cooked to 145

°F as measured by a food thermometer placed in the thickest part of

the meat, followed by a three-minute rest time before carving or

consuming. Hamburgers and other ground beef should reach 160 °F. All

poultry should reach a minimum temperature of 165 °F. Fish should be

cooked to 145 °F. Fully cooked meats like hot dogs should be grilled

to 165 °F or until steaming hot.

Chill: Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours. One hour if it

is a hot day over

90ºF. The refrigerator should be maintained at 40ºF or lower and the

freezer should be at 0ºF or lower. Keep hot foods hot, 140ºF or

hotter, and cold foods cold, 40ºF or below. Never defrost food at

room temperature. Thaw food in the refrigerator, in a cold-water

bath, or in the microwave. When using a microwave, meat must be

cooked immediately after. Marinate foods in the refrigerator.

Report: Report suspected foodborne illnesses to the NH Department of

Health and Human Services by calling 603-271-4496. Often calls from

concerned citizens are how outbreaks are first detected. If a public

health official calls you to talk about an outbreak, your cooperation

is important, even if you are not ill.



For more information visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture at

www.usda.gov  or

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/teach-others/fsis-educational-campaigns/grill-it-safe/grill-it-safe

, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at www.cdc.gov , the

DHHS website at www.dhhs.nh.gov , or www.befoodsafe.org .

Tuesday
Jun172014

NH DHHS Updates Flooding Damage at Southern District Office

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS) is announcing some operations are resuming today at its Southern

District Office. Some staff from the Division of Client Services and the

New Hampshire Employment Program will be back at the Nashua facility.

Staff will be there to receive paper applications from clients, as well as

schedule and conduct in person interviews. These are the only staff that

are returning to the building as of this time as there are still

significant repairs that must be completed in order to reopen the facility.

DHHS regrets any inconvenience this may cause, and appreciates your

understanding and cooperation.



While the rest of the office remains closed, clients can seek DHHS services

as follows:



The Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services: 603-271-7014 or 1-800-949-0470



The Division of Children, Youth and Families: 1-800-852-7493 Ext 5



The Division of Child Support Services: 603-271-4427 or 1-800-852-3345 ext

4427

or via the web at www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcss/contact.htm


Clients can also apply for services online at www.nheasy.nh.gov

Thursday
Jun052014

NH DHHS - NH Health Protection Program Meetings to be held Statewide

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS) is announcing 12 Statewide information sessions about the

implementation of the New Hampshire Health Protection Program (NH HPP).

With recent changes to New Hampshire law, there are new options for health

insurance at little or no cost to those who qualify. The information

sessions will provide important information about the program, coverage,

eligibility and how to apply.



“The New Hampshire Health Protection Program will help provide access to

health care coverage to people in our State who may have never had

insurance before,” said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. “This

initiative has the potential to help improve the health of thousands of

people by ensuring they have access to care not only in times of need, but

for preventative care as well. We want people to come to these sessions so

they can learn more about the program and get their questions answered.”



The NH Health Protection Program has two coverage options. The Health

Insurance Premium Payment Program (HIPP) will help cover insurance costs

for someone if they or a member of their family have access to health

insurance through an employer. The Bridge Program is for those that don’t

have access to health insurance through an employer, or if they do not

qualify for the HIPP Program.



The NH HPP is being offered to people between 19 and 65 years old. To be

eligible, a household of one would have a monthly income limit of $1,294; a

household of two, $1,744 or less per month; a household of three monthly

income limit of $2,194; or a household of four with a monthly imcome limit

of $2,644 or less.



Anyone who thinks they may be eligible (or their family members or care

givers) and human service agency coordinators who work with those who may

be eligible are encouraged to attend. Others who are interested in hearing

more about the NH HPP are also welcome to attend.



These are informational sessions only, it is not for people to apply. All

12 sessions will cover the same information, so people need to attend only

once.



Registration is not required, but is appreciated. To register go to

www.surveymonkey.com/s/nh-hpp.



Anyone in need of accommodations for communication access such as

interpreters, CART, assistive listening devices, or other auxiliary aids

and/or services should make that request at least 3 business days (72

hours) prior to the meeting you wish to attend to ensure availability. To

request this call Alex McIntire at 603-224-5566 or amcintire@lkarno.com.



Meeting Schedule



Concord, Monday, June 9, Brown Building Auditorium, 129 Pleasant St.,

5:30-7 pm



Manchester, Tuesday, June 10, Health Department,1528 Elm St., 5:30-7 pm



Conway, Wednesday, June 11, Kennett Middle School, 176 Main St., 5:30-7 pm



Keene, Thursday, June 12, Keene Public Library, 60 Winter St., 5:30-7 pm



Laconia, Monday, June 16, Laconia Middle School, 150 McGrath St., 5:30-7 pm



Berlin, Tuesday, June 17, Androscoggin Valley Hospital, 59 Page Hill Rd.,

5:30-7 pm



Claremont, Wednesday, June 18, River Valley Community College, 1 College

Dr., 5:30-7 pm



Nashua, Thursday, June 19, Nashua High South, 36 Riverside Dr., 5:30-7 pm



Derry, Tuesday, June 24, Municipal Center, 14 Manning St., 5:30-7 pm



Littleton, Wednesday, June 25, Littleton High School, 159, Oak Hill Ave,

5:30-7 pm



Dover, Thursday, June 26, Dover Middle School, 16 Daley Dr., 5:30-7 pm



Portsmouth, Tuesday, July 1, Portsmouth Public Library, 175 Parrott Ave.,

5:30-7 pm


Wednesday
Jun042014

NH DHHS - Southern District Office Closed Until Further Notice

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS) Southern District Office, located in Nashua, will be temporarily

closed due to water damage inside the facility. The office is closed

beginning today until further notice while the damage is being repaired.

DHHS regrets any inconvenience this may cause, and appreciates your

understanding and cooperation during this time. While the office is

closed, staff will continue to process applications and cases from other

DHHS locations.



While the office is closed DHHS will provide services as follows:



The Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services: 603-271-7014 or 1-800-949-0470



The Division of Client Services: 1-800-852-3345 ext 9700



The Division of Children, Youth and Families: 1-800-852-7493 ext 5



The Division of Child Support Services: 603-271-4427 or 1-800-852-3345 ext

4427

or via the web at www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcss/contact.htm



The Division of Family Assistance/New Hampshire Employment Program:

Southern New Hampshire Services Outreach Center at 134 Allds St, Nashua



Long Term Care Services: 1-866-322-9191



Clients can also apply for services online at www.nheasy.nh.gov