Late last year, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report that shows hospital-acquired conditions are declining steadily — 3 million fewer adverse events between 2010 and 2015 to be exact. They also reported a savings of more than $28 billion in healthcare costs over the same timeframe. While this may sound like great news — and it is — it probably does little to sooth the millions of patients who did, and still do, get healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs), or countless loved ones who have lost friends and family members to C.diff., surgical site infections, blood stream infections and other preventable problems.
The National Action Plan to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections: Road Map to Elimination contains new targets for reducing HAIs in acute care hospitals, but hitting those targets will require a huge effort from not only infection prevention and clinical staff, but all healthcare staff, including Environmental Services, Sterile Processing, Supply Chain, Pharmacy — even the patients themselves. Here’s a look at some major areas of concern and how healthcare facilities are addressing — or not addressing — the problems.