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HHS: New HAI targets for 2020

This October, the Department for Health and Human Services (HHS) announced ambitious, new targets for reducing healthcare-associated infections (HAI) in acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities, and ambulatory surgical centers. The changes have been outlined in the National Action Plan to Prevent HAI: Road Map to Elimination. The HHS used HAI data from 2015 as a baseline, with the new target date set for 2020.

The previous targets for HAI reduction expired in 2013, with only the goal of reducing central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) by 50% achieved. All others saw partial success, save catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) and Clostridium difficile (C. diff) hospitalizations. Between 2009 and 2014, there was no change in CAUTI reduction. Meanwhile, C. diff hospitalizations actually increased by 18%.

Now, the HHS’s new goals require:

  • 50% CLABSI reduction
  • 50% CAUTI reduction
  • 25% invasive Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) reduction
  • 50% facility-onset MRSA reduction
  • 50% diff Infection (CDI) reduction
  • 30% surgical site infection (SSI) reduction
  • 30% reduction of diff hospitalizations


Facilities should have already started working on reducing CAUTIs, since The Joint Commission’s newest National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) on CAUTIs will go into effect on January 1, 2017. 

Pennsylvania study targets HAIs

I just came across this really intriguing study while putting together the upcoming issue of Accreditation Connection and I thought, with healthcare-acquired infections such a hot button issue of late, it might be of interest to AHAP members. Here’s a clip from the article:

Infections acquired during a hospital visit frequently result in a significant increase in the overall cost of care, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

A recent report by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council has found that the average bill for a patient who acquires an infection during their hospital visit was roughly five and a half times the amount billed to those who did not acquire an infection. The report also found that nearly 28,000 patients contracted a healthcare-associated infection (HAI) during a hospital visit in 2007.

While HAI numbers were down from 2006 by almost eight percent, patients with HAIs were six times more likely to die, according to the report.

The full report is available online here. The full Inquirer article is available here.

By the way, Accreditation Connection is a free weekly email newsletter. If you don’t already receive it and would like to sign up, feel free to email me at and I can make sure you’re on the list.

APIC releases goals for “Targeting Zero” in 2009

The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology released their goals for 2009 concerning their Targeting Zero initiativetoday . The details can be found here, but they plan to release elimination guides for ventilator-associated pneumonia, catheter-associated bloodstream infections, MRSA in long-term care settings, and Acinetobacter baumannii.

You may recall APIC’s groundbreaking MRSA Prevalance study released in 2007 that was one of the first studies to show how rampant MRSA is in our hospitals and healthcare system. Since that time, multiple drug resistant organisms have been a focal point for both The Joint Commission (prevention of MDROs recently became part of National Patient Safety Goal # 7, and CMS added prevention of healthcare acquired infections to their no-pay conditions).

So, what are your facilities doing specifically to target the prevention of MRSA spread? Any creative programs?

CMS posts listening session

Hello, everyone. Something of interest from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: CMS has posted the audiofile from its December 18th listening session, Hospital-Acquired Conditions and Hospital Outpatient Healthcare-Associated Conditions. The file is located on its Hospital-Acquired Conditions (HAC) & Present on Admission (POA) Indicator Reporting web site and can be downloaded here.

Pat Pejakovich and Connie Steed will be presenting an audioconference on HAIs on March 23rd that may be of interest to you. More details are available here.

Kentucky organizations work to fight MRSA

Hello, everyone. I just wanted to pass along a news brief published today in Accreditation Connection about a pair of initiatives in Kentucky, including a MRSA-prevention program. We’ll be talking with some of the folks involved in building the program in the upcoming issue of Briefings on The Joint Commission–it’s an interesting endeavor and I’ll post a preview of the article exclusive to the AHAP Blog very soon.

Two new initiatives with very different approaches have targeted hospital-associated infections in Kentucky, the Courier-Journal reports.

Currently, legislation before the Kentucky General Assembly calls for screening for infections, as well as better control of infections resistant to antibiotics. The bill (House Bill 67) also calls for public reporting of infection rates.

Meanwhile, a collaborative created by the Kentucky Hospital Association and other organizations, targets methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The collaborative has designed a toolkit with guidelines, sample policies, and other tools for MRSA prevention.

For more information, click here.

IHI’s 20th annual National Forum on Quality Improvement

Hi blog readers,

I wanted to update you about the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s latest campaign, launched last week at the 20th annual National Forum on Quality Improvement:

IHI launches newest quality improvement campaign

Piggybacking on its predecessors, the “100,000 Lives” and “5 Million Lives” campaigns, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) latest quality improvement effort, the “Improvement Map,” adds new initiatives for hospitals to take part in to improve patient care. Introduced at the 20th annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Healthcare last week in Nashville, TN, the Improvement Map hopes to incorporate and move beyond some of the earlier interventions, which mostly focused on preventing unnecessary death within hospitals.

Don Berwick, MD, MPP, FRCP, president of the IHI, introduced the Improvement Map to forum attendees, highlighting three new interventions that have been immediately added to the existing 12 from previous campaigns. These are:

  • Implementing the World Health Organization’s surgical safety checklist to prevent surgical errors

  • Improving patient safety by linking financial strategies to quality improvement projects

  • Preventing catheter-associated urinary tract infections

Berwick challenged attendees to “the sprint,” by asking them to implement the surgical safety checklist in one operating room in every hospital in the country within the next 90 days to have an immediate effect on patient safety. Other interventions will be added in the coming months to the new campaign.

To find out more about this campaign, click here.

Speaking to that second bullet point, Ken Rohde’s session at the 3rd annual AHAP conference, taking place May 14-15 2009 in Las Vegas, will focus on leadership strategies for improving quality within hospitals. To find out more about the conference, click here.