Healthcare-Associated Infections in Hospitals
Healthcare-associated infections (infections that may be acquired during the course of receiving health care) are numerous, devastating, sometimes deadly and certainly unacceptable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) they number nearly 1.7 million each year and caused 99,000 deaths in 2002. The financial burden associated with these infections is also significant. It is estimated based on a recent report that the overall annual direct medical costs of HAI to U.S. hospitals ranges from $28.4 to $33.8 billion.
The CDC describes healthcare-associated infections as one of the six public health “winnable battles” for the United States because of the large body of evidence- based practices available and the proven successes with implementation of reduction programs.
Concerned organizations have come together in New Mexico to address this problem. In 2007 the New Mexico HAI Advisory Committee, a membership of associations, agencies and government representatives, was formed to develop HAI indicators for public reporting by health care organizations and programs to support prevention. More than 30 hospitals have taken part in this voluntary program sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Health. Today, this work continues through the New Mexico Medical Review Association (NMMRA) in partnership with the HAI Advisory Committee, and is funded through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) national quality improvement initiatives. Please join the Statewide HAI Learning and Action Network (LAN), which will help hospitals to eliminate preventable infections.
Hospitals that join HealthInsight New Mexico’s health care-associated infection (HAI) initiatives will contribute to as much as a 50-percent reduction in national HAI rates. The initiative will work to:
Hospitals that participate in HealthInsight New Mexico initiatives can expect to receive technical assistance for reporting HAI data, as well as opportunities for peer-to-peer learning through the statewide LAN, access to and training on evidence-based tools like the central line checklist, support for rapid-cycle improvement, and strategies for spreading success within their hospitals.