CDC and HRET Join Forces to Protect Patients, Reduce Hospital Infections

The Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) of the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are launching a three-year initiative to improve the implementation of infection prevention and control efforts in U.S. hospitals. The goal is to strengthen infection control practices in targeted acute care hospitals and to specifically reduce central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infections and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with CDC on the important issue of infection prevention,” says Maulik Joshi, president of HRET and associate executive vice president of AHA. “This project will build on our national work that has successfully reduced CAUTI and CLABSI rates and improved patient care.”

The project will be completed in close partnership with state hospital associations, state health departments and the CMS Quality Improvement Networks – Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN –QIO) that will facilitate and provide technical assistance to at least 300 targeted hospitals.

"Combining the expertise of CDC and HRET, we can better coordinate and align healthcare-associated infection prevention efforts at both a national and local level, accelerating prevention and improving sustainability,” says Dr. Carolyn Gould, CDC team lead for hospital infection prevention. “This is a unique opportunity to make a difference in preventing infections and improving patient safety across the nation.”

In addition, HRET will work closely with the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), a personal membership group of the AHA, to develop resources to help design and redesign hospitals in ways that reduce infection risks to patients and staff. Other project partners include the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, University of Michigan, Michigan Health & Hospital Association Keystone Center, Health Insight QIN and Society of Hospital Medicine.

“The healthcare environment plays a central role in infection control,” says Dale Woodin, senior executive director of ASHE. “Providing guidance on existing and new healthcare construction will benefit all healthcare facilities and will improve care for patients.”

HRET will offer technical assistance to hospitals, in part, by developing concise reports that provide guidance on healthcare facility design and layout for improving infection control. HRET will accelerate current strategies for achieving reductions in infections among all groups by building on the tools and resources of the project partners, CDC, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, combining the shared goals of improved patient safety.

Source: Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

Dr. Carolyn Gould describes this project in the CDC's Safe Healthcare Blog at: