HHS has released targeted goals to reduce certain hospital-acquired infections in five years through its new infection-control action plan.
The federal department announced the preliminary plan calling for greater collaboration among its agencies within the department to conduct infection surveillance during a conference hosted last fall by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. The more detailed plan outlines how HHS will use measurement systems and data collected through various agencies to track and reduce six HAIs: central line-associated bloodstream; Clostridium difficile; catheter-associated urinary tract; methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; surgical-site infections; and ventilator-associated pneumonia.
Hospitals praised HHS efforts for coordinating infection-control practices last year while calling for even more reduction and prevention implementation guidelines.
Separately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found an increase over the past 10 years in hepatitis outbreaks related to healthcare settings because practitioners did not follow infection-control practices, according to a report in the current Annals of Internal Medicine. Because of 33 outbreaks in outpatient clinics, dialysis centers and long-term-care facilities, more than 60,000 patients were put at risk and asked to be tested for the Hepatitis B and C viruses in the past decade. The CDC said in its report that the outbreaks were caused in part by healthcare staff not following procedures for syringes, medications, equipment and devices. -- by Jean DerGurahian