HHS updates nationwide healthcare-associated infection plan

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Every day, approximately one in every 20 patients has an infection related to the patient’s hospital care, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The agency has released an updated National Action Plan to reduce healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) for public comment.

According to data submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network and reported in the HAI Action Plan, central line-associated bloodstream infections have declined by 33 percent, surgical site infections (SSIs) have declined by 10 percent and catheter-associated urinary tract infections have declined by 7 percent since the baselines were set.

The HAI Action Plan has nine goals:

  • Fifty percent reduction in bloodstream infections;
  • 100 percent adherence to central line insertion practices;
  • Thirty percent reduction in  Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infections;
  • Thirty percent reduction in  C. difficile hospitalizations;
  • Twenty-five percent reduction in urinary tract infections;
  • Fifty percent reduction in MRSA invasive infections (in the general population);
  • Twenty-five percent reduction in MRSA bacteremia;
  • Twenty-five percent reduction in surgical site infections; and
  • Ninety-five percent adherence to surgical SCIP measures.

The rates of one type of infection remain at historic highs. C. difficile, a germ that causes serious diarrhea, kills 14,000 Americans each year and adds an estimated $1 billion in extra costs to the healthcare system, HHS stated.

The plan was published in the Federal Register this week.