Healthcare Associated Infections
The national goal is to prevent, reduce, and ultimately eliminate healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). South Dakota is actively engaged, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in working to address the issue of HAI prevention.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, HAIs are infections that patients get while receiving treatment for medical or surgical conditions. They are among the leading causes of preventable deaths in the U.S. and are associated with a substantial increase in health care costs each year.(1) HAIs occur in all types of care settings, including:
- Acute care within hospitals
- Same-day surgical centers
- Ambulatory outpatient care in health care clinics
- Long-term care facilities (e.g., nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities)
In hospitals, HAIs lead to extended hospital stays, contribute to increased medical costs, and are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality.
The high-priority objectives address central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections.
Besides these sources of HAIs, several other sources have been identified as major contributors to HAI-related illness and deaths in the HHS Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections. Nearly 3 out of every 4 HAIs in the acute care hospital setting result from one of following types of infection, listed in order of prevalence:
- Catheter-associated urinary tract infections
- Surgical site infections
- Bloodstream infections
HAIs are the most common complication of hospital care. (2) However, recent studies suggest that implementing existing prevention practices can lead to a 70% reduction in certain HAIs. The financial benefit of using these prevention practices is estimated to be $25.0 billion to $31.5 billion in medical cost savings
- Antibiotic resistance threats in the United States, 2013 - CDC
- Antibiotic stewardship resources
- South Dakota Antibiogram of Selected Pathogens, 2012: Tracking the Use and Success of Antibiotics
- Making Health Care Safer: Stop Infections from Lethal CRE Germs Now — CDC Vital Signs, March 2013
- Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI)
- Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI)
- Surgical site infections (SSI)
- Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP)
- Clostridium difficile infection (CDifficile)
- Healthcare Personnel Safety Component
Angela M. Jackley, RN
Healthcare-Associated Infections Coordinator
South Dakota Department of Health
302 E. Dakota Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: (605) 773-5348
Fax: (605) 773-4072
(1) Klevens RM, Edwards JR, Richards CL Jr, et al. Estimating health care-associated infections and deaths in US hospitals, 2002. Public Health Rep. 2007 Mar–Apr;122(2):160-6.
(2) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). AHRQ’s efforts to prevent and reduce health care-associated infections [fact sheet]. AHRQ Publication No. 09-P013, Rockville, MD: AHRQ; 2009 Sept. Available from: http://www.ahrq.gov/qual/haiflyer.htm