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10 Things for CFOs to Know About Healthcare Acquired Infections

Healthcare Acquired Infections

Healthcare acquired infections cost billions of dollars in added expenses to the healthcare system each year. (1) With the healthcare industry’s movement towards value-based care, healthcare CFOs are taking a closer look at their organizations’ infection rates to identify opportunities for infection control and prevention.

Here are ten things hospital CFOs should know about healthcare acquired infections (HAI) to keep infection rates low and reduce costs.

1. The financial benefit of using prevention practices is estimated to be $25 billion to $31.5 billion in medical cost savings. (1)

2. The CDC estimates that the annual costs of healthcare acquired infections in the United States are between $28 billion - $45 billion per year. (3)

3. On any given day, 1 in 31 patients has an HAI while being treated in a medical facility. (4)

4. HAIs affect approximately 2 million people in the United States each year, 100,000 of whom die due to the harmful effects. (5)

5. HAIs are preventable: Up to 70 percent of these infections could be prevented if healthcare workers followed recommended protocols. (5)

6. Every patient is at risk of acquiring healthcare acquired infections while being treated in a medical facility. (2) Risk factors can be grouped into three general categories: medical procedures and antibiotic use, organizational factors, and patient characteristics. (1)

7. The most common types of HAIs are related to the use of invasive devices or surgical procedures. The most commonly contracted HAIs include: catheter-associated urinary tract infections, surgical site infections, bloodstream infections, pneumonia, and Clostridium difficile. (1)

8. Healthcare acquired infections are most often caused by germs spread through people’s actions. (2) This can include improper hand hygiene, careless insertion or removal of catheters, or irresponsible use of antibiotics. (1)

9. When adequately implemented, hand hygiene is the simplest and most effective method of preventing infection among patients and healthcare workers. (6)

10. Proper education and training of healthcare workers increase compliance with safety practices to prevent HAIs. (1)

An effective patient safety program includes an action plan for infection control. In addition, healthcare professionals should use real-time data to stay informed about the potential impact and prevention of HAIs to provide the highest quality care in the safest possible environment.  

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With Performance Health Partner’s Infection Control Software, healthcare organizations can reduce HAIs and drastically improve the quality of care. With access to streamlined reporting, real-time notifications, and intelligent analytics, healthcare organizations can take a data-informed approach towards HAI control and prevention.

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1. https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/healthcare-associated-infections

2. https://www.cdc.gov/patientsafety/features/clean-hands-count.html

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2827870/

4. https://www.cdc.gov/hai/eip/antibiotic-use.html

5. https://ihpi.umich.edu/news/hand-washing-stops-infections-so-why-do-health-care-workers-skip-it

6. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/7/2/70-0234_article



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