The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) says it supports the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 'sdevelopment of the National Quality Strategy aimed at improving the quality of healthcare.
The top priority advanced by the National Quality Strategy is making healthcare safer by reducing harm caused in the delivery of care. APIC shares this goal and unyielding focus on the prevention of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). As the Strategy points out, nearly one in every 20 hospitalized patients in the U.S. each year acquires an HAI. Since 1972, APIC has provided thought leadership on infection prevention to drive attention to the critical need to protect patients from HAIs and is an authority in the application of evidence-based infection control measures.
APIC says it was pleased to provide stakeholder input to the Healthcare Associated Infection Prevention Initiative/HAI Action Plan which provided guidance for the HAI components of the National Quality Strategy and adds, "We believe that every healthcare institution should be working toward HAI elimination. While we are encouraged by recent reports of HAI reductions in central line-associated bloodstream infections in intensive care units, continued progress is contingent upon sustained focus and resources."
APIC says it is pleased that the National Quality Strategy utilizes the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) to illustrate the types of measures useful in monitoring progress toward the goal of eliminating HAIs. "The NHSN is based on epidemiologically sound, surveillance data and presents a national standard for reporting HAIs that accurately portrays infection rates across different geographic regions and categories of risk."
Looking ahead, APIC says it welcomes the opportunity to provide input to federal agencies and other stakeholders in the ongoing development and refinement of specific goals, plans, benchmarks and standardized quality metrics for the National Quality Strategy. Prevention of HAIs relates to all six priorities outlined in the document. "We believe that implementation of this Strategy will lead to improved outcomes for patients and pledge our full support for these initiatives."