Leading public health and infectious disease experts, including IDSA, recently issued a framework for eliminating health care-associated infections (HAIs). Published in the November 2010 issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the white paper, “Moving Toward Elimination of Healthcare‐Associated Infections: A Call to Action,” outlines a four-part strategy based on successful preventive practices and public health strategies:
- Implement evidence-based practices that protect patients;
- Align incentives to promote system-wide strategies for HAI prevention;
- Address gaps in knowledge to push beyond the current medical knowledge; and
- Collect data to target prevention efforts and to measure progress.
Progress in controlling a specific HAI, central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), has demonstrated the potential of these efforts. Recent initiatives have shown 60-70 percent overall decreases of CLABSIs in intensive care units (ICUs), with some locations reporting zero CLABSIs for up to four years following implementation. Political will and investment at the federal, state and local levels, and consumer expectations for transparency and accountability are providing additional momentum for addressing HAIs.
The white paper was jointly authored by representatives from IDSA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society (PIDS).
The paper is available online. The groups also issued a press release announcing the new framework.
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