HHS Reports "Little Progress" in HAI Reduction

The Health and Human Services (HHS) Department and its Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) today issued its 2009 National Healthcare Quality Report, and among the findings, it noted that "very little progress" has been made on eliminating healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs). The HHS stated, “...we find that healthcare quality in America is suboptimal. The gap between best possible care and that which is routinely delivered remains substantial across the nation.”

The agency adds, “Infections ... are one of the most serious patient safety concerns. It is unfortunate that HAI rates are not declining. Of all the measures in the NHQR measure set, the one worsening at the fastest rate is post-operative sepsis. The two process measures related to HAIs tracked in the NHQR, both covering timely receipt of prophylactic antibiotics for surgery, are improving steadily. However, HAI outcome measures are lagging; only one shows improvement over time while three are worsening and one shows no change. This may, in part, reflect improving detection of HAIs.”

To access the entire report, CLICK HERE.