HAIs impact 1 in every 25 patients in the US every year. Due to the efforts by the CDC and other world health organizations, the dangers of HAIs are well known and some progress is being made to combat these preventable infections.
The stakes have never been higher for health systems to prevent HAIs, not only for patient safety, but to avoid Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions that penalize hospitals with high infection rates. Most recently, CMS named 724 hospitals with the highest HAI rates, all of which will have Medicare payments cut by 1 percent this year.
In order to significantly reduce HAIs and combat the increasing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, healthcare organizations have to adopt a broad, vigilant infection-control strategy that includes implementing infection-prevention guidelines, changing staff behavior and adopting antimicrobial-treated medical devices.