Iowa Sets HAI-Reduction Targets for the Coming Year

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative (IHC) are partnering with nearly 70 acute care Iowa hospitals to measure and reduce two preventable healthcare-associated infections over the next year.

The HAI prevention targets include a 25 percent reduction in catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) and a 30 percent reduction in Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) related to hospitalization.

"In patient care, the first rule is to do no harm," said IDPH director Tom Newton. "I believe a huge component of that concept is the role of public health working collaboratively with Iowas acute-care hospitals to ensure that every patient in every part of Iowa is getting the best care by the best teams. Part of that role is to work toward eliminating preventable healthcare-associated infections."

Nationally, CDI causes 9,000 deaths annually and costs millions to treat; CAUTI causes 13,000 deaths annually and may double the amount of time a patient has to stay in the hospital.

IDPH is asking hospitals report these infections to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). By reporting to NHSN, hospitals can identify and measure what, where and how many preventable infections are occurring. For more information on which Iowa hospitals are participating, see http://www.idph.state.ia.us/hai_prevention

Together IHC and IDPH will then begin statewide education strategies for Iowa hospitals to detect and prevent HAI infections. This includes working with hospital leaders, regulatory agencies, healthcare associations, schools, and infection prevention experts to promote hands-on infection prevention to reduce these HAIs, reduce healthcare costs, and make healthcare safer for all Iowans.

"The Iowa Healthcare Collaborative is pleased to be joining with the Department of Public Health on this important project. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Iowa hospitals to achieve our common goal of healthcare quality improvement for all Iowans," said Dr. Tom Evans, president and CEO of IHC.

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