HAIs are listed among the top ten leading causes of death in the United States.
It was estimated in 2009 there were 1,737,125 HAIs in US hospitals with 26% attributed by catheter associated urinary tract infections and 17% attributed by surgical site infections.
Other major sources of infections included infection with Clostridium difficile, central line associated bloodstream infections, and ventilator associated pneumonia.
In 2016, infections caused by antibiotic resistant organisms in healthcare settings were also identified as being a significant problem. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections and Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) have been identified as two organisms of interest.
National Action Plan
These infections were deemed preventable and the National Action Plan to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections: Road Map to Elimination was activated to reduce HAIs nationwide.
To track the reduction, more than 17,000 hospitals throughout the US currently identify and report the above mentioned HAIs to the National Healthcare Safety Database (NHSN).
The results have been analyzed to evaluate progress towards national goals.
In October, 2016, after reaching previous national goals, new targets for improvement were identified.
To encourage reduction of HAI, Medicare payments have been reduced to hospitals with high HAI rates.
Additionally, HAI rates have been incorporated into Hospital Compare rankings which are comprised of many quality measures and can assist consumers who want to select a hospital that provides quality care.
Montana’s HAI Program
This program has provided support to healthcare facilities since 2012 through the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity Cooperative agreement with CDC.
The funding supports these Montana activities:
Montana hospitals have reduced HAIs as reported here.