Health care-associated infections (HAIs)—infections acquired during treatment for another condition—have emerged as a significant concern in policy as well as clinical circles. Tied to perhaps 100,000 deaths and $20 billion in health care costs each year, HAIs have given rise to state laws, federal legislative proposals, public-private initiatives, and work at the hospital system and individual hospital level. However, much remains to be done, particularly since some of the HAI-causing bacteria have become drug-resistant. Methicillin-reistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is a familiar example. This meeting reviewed the prevalence of HAIs and the strategies for and barriers to reducing their incidence. It examined the roles of public- and private-sector entities in reporting, monitoring, and eliminating HAIs.
Denise M. Cardo, MD, Director, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Jonathan B. Perlin, MD, PhD, President, Clinical Services and Chief Medical Officer, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA); Robert A. Wise, MD, Vice President, Division of Standards and Survey Methods, The Joint Commission
More information available in the accompanying publication (Issue Brief No. 830, March 13, 2009).