Online Program

Healthcare-Associated Infections: The Role of Public Health in Solving a National Healthcare Problem

Tuesday, November 5, 2013: 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Panel Discussion
Healthcare Associated Infections are infections people acquire while they are receiving treatment for medical or surgical conditions in a healthcare setting. HAIs can be acquired anywhere healthcare is delivered. Hospital acquired HAIs are among the leading causes of death in the United States. At any given time, about one in every 20 hospitalized patients has an HAI while over 1 million HAIs occur across health care every year. Hosital-acquired HAIs alone are responsible for $28 billion to $33 billion in potentially preventable health care expenditures annually. Scientific evidence has shown that certain types of HAIs can be drastically reduced to save lives and avoid excess costs. To coordinat HAI prevention efforts across the U.S. Federal Governemtn, a senior level steering committee was established to develop an action plan to identify opportunities to reduce healthcare associated infections. Given the breadth of the field, the steering committee decided to take a phased approach. An initiat action plan was released in 2009 focusing on HAI prevention in acute care hospitals. In 2013 a revised action plan was released that reflected advances in science and new methods of surveillance and prevention and also expanded the action plan to consider HAIs in ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), end stage renal dialysis facilities, and Long term care facilities. The report also looked at opportunities to increase influenza vaccination rates among healthcare personnel. These action plans have spurred tremendous activity at both the national and local level to reduce healthcare associated infections. The first panelist will discuss the national action plan, recent advances in the prevention of HAIs, national efforts focused on targeting this public health challenge, and future areas for focus. The second panelist will discuss efforts by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) to incorporate the reduction of HAIs into state and local public health efforts. The last panelists will present these activities from the perspective of a state that has taken significant steps to begin to address HAIs within its health care settings. The session will provide a context for this serious challenge to patient safety as well as the public health challenges and how coordinated efforts have shown preliminary success.
Session Objectives: 1) Describe the National Action Plan for Healthcare Associated Infections 2) Identify existing resources and tools to help measure and reduce HAIs 3) Discuss current efforts to incorporate HAI prevention into Public Health 4) Explain ASTHO’s efforts to reduce HAIs through the engagement of state public health agencies 5) Demonstrate efforts to reduce HAIs at the state- level 6) Evaluate the challenges of reducing HAIs at the community level
Yael Harris, PHD, MHS
Yael Harris, PHD, MHS

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: APHA-Innovations Project